Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Autumn Colors (Part 1)
Other highlights include the driving and insistent "River" featuring a solo from Tepfer that, at times, echoes Andrew Hill without aping his style as well as Preminger's far-ranging and emotionally charged solo. "Humility" opens with a handsome piano spotlight (sans rhythm section) and, after Preminger voices the sweet first melody line, drops into a tempo that starts and stops with Garcia's active drumming alongside Hebert's driving bass lines. Tepfer's two-handed attack at the piano is a sharp counterpoint to Preminger's subtle tenor solo. There's a New Orleans feel in the shifting rhythms on "String and Poise" and admirable work from the bass and drums as they push/pull the piece along.
3 of the 12 tracks are short drum solos - titled "Flash"and numbered 1, 2 and 3, the pieces allow Garcia to be rhythmic and melodic and do not distract from the 9 Quartet pieces. I cannot wait to hear the 4 play this exciting music live - they'll be at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT, on Friday October 21. In the meantime, "The Drop and The Ocean" is music that moves the body, engages the mind and satisfies the soul. One cannot ask for more than that! For more information, go to www.robgarcia.com.
Here's a taste of "The Return", a track that shows the influence of Ornette Coleman, courtesy of BJU Records and IODA Promonet.
The Return (mp3)
The 5 Motian originals are all instrumentals but keep the mood of the other tracks. Morgan's solo on "Wednesday's Gone" is short yet sublime while Frisell's guitar on "Backup" is evocative of moonlit nights in the fall. Motian's drumming on "Trieste" (one of his older tunes) swings in his unhurried yet tuneful manner.
Because of the uncluttered style of this music (and the superb sound quality of the CD), "The Windmills of Your Mind" is so satisfying. One expects that Bill Frisell's work will be pleasing but, here, Thomas Morgan's bass work absolutely stands out. Petra Haden is out front but fits herself sweetly into the flow of the music. Meanwhile, the 80-year old Paul Motian is the soul, the percussive painter, of this quartet, allowing the melody to carry the day throughout. For more information, go to www.winterandwinter.com.
When you listen closely, one cannot tell if it's Bang's insistent and energetic violin, Fonda's lusty bass lines or Altschul's hard-edged drum work that drives the music. Tunes such as "Homeward Bound", "Implications" and "From the Waters of New Orleans" build up such a head of steam, it can push the listener up out of his chair. When Bang (who passed in April of this year) gets going, the music seems to levitate. Yet he can be subtle and oh-so-bluesy - the sweet plucked violin opening of "One for Don Cherry" feels like a blend of Appalachian folk songs with an Indian mantra. The interplay of Fonda's bass and Bang's violin in the middle of the piece is mesmerizing. The program closes with "From the Waters of New Orleans", replete with second-line "parade" drumming, a fiery bass solo and very funky violin.
Do not overlook this excellent recording from FAB Trio. The sound mix allows each instrument to stand out so you can really dig into Barry Altschul's creative drum work, ride along with Joe Fonda's moving bass lines, and luxuriate in Billy Bang's delightful violin playing. To find out more, go to joefonda.com.
Ernie Krivda does have an impressive catalog with a good portion of his best work on Cadence Jazz Records or its subsidiary, CIMP. "Blues for Pekar", his debut on Capri Records, is very good and lots of fun. Dig in! For more information, go to www.erniekrivda.com.