By Jon W. Poses
What superior way to understand Independence Working day — musically speaking — than to share some splendidly robust and varied releases?
I have often cherished the piano trio the triangular configuration needs enormous skill from, and interaction amongst, gamers. Yet, pretty much magically, it also permits for — and truly wants — nourishment in the sort of full bunches of room and flexibility for every single participant to categorical themself in the course of.
On “Too Near For Comfort” (HighNote), pianist George Cables — now in his mid-70s — showcases a fluid, simply just delightful method to a 3-way excursion that incorporates two fairly like-minded veterans and common souls: the versatile, curious bassist Essiet Essiet and Victor Lewis, a frequently imaginative drummer with practically nothing a lot less than impeccable taste and musical stylings.
When you observe that every participant has worked with the many others in far too a lot of overlapping contexts to cite, it’s just about a foregone conclusion that the close product or service will arrive with a perception of intimacy and provide as a prime instance of contemporary swing. The trio’s sympatico technique stands as fresh new and appetizing during, under no circumstances staid or stale.
Leader Cables contributes a passel complete of fantastically-crafted originals, proudly owning elaborate preparations with his repertoire, improved by a very careful option of others’ more standard titles.
For instance, the recording’s title observe, composed by Jerry Bock and George David Weiss in 1956, opens this 10-range disc, which also involves “For All We Know” and, not surprisingly, a pair of titles composed by vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. I say not surprisingly because Cables and Hutcherson walked the exact same musical route normally, every contributing to the others’ recordings, each contributing to the likes of Dexter Gordon’s function. The point of all this is Cables’ latest certainly enhances anyone’s CD selection.
“All Factors Are” (Smoke Sessions), furthermore, functions a piano trio. However, this unit is organized as a three-way cooperative: pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Ben Avenue and drummer Billy Hart. Hays, who penned all but one particular of the 7 elongated entries, none much less than a hair shy of 8 minutes, describes the music in the liner notes:
“This is the way I like to engage in. I like the unplanned and I are inclined not to be directive — these musicians currently have direction.”
This is undoubtedly legitimate. Hays’ colleagues symbolize a pair of cost-free-wondering, improvisation-driven protagonists. Avenue, for his portion, possesses a large range of musical portals his palette is colourful, filled with texture and can be sent both equally delicately and forcefully.
It’s anyone’s guess why drummer Hart, however atop the inventive hill at 80, has not been tabbed a Nationwide Endowment for the Arts Jazz Grasp. His soul oozes creativeness and spontaneity his brush work and use of accentuation are immediately identifiable and a hallmark of jazz itself — having your personal voice.
Hays finishes his views this way: “This is not a no cost trio we’re not playing free of charge jazz. But we’re playing with the tabula rasa spirit, with as tiny as feasible figured out other than the bare bones.”
Mike LeDonne provides up “It’s All Your Fault” (Savant). When one particular thinks about the keyboardist, the phrase “stalwart” comes to brain. LeDonne continues to get the job done in the trenches in New York, serving as a mainstay to the energetic Upper West Side jazz scene — although he’s toured the world numerous situations around and travels regularly in non-pandemic times.
Over-all, I’m extra familiar with LeDonne’s piano perform, though I’ve listened to his lesser group the place he performs Hammond B-3 organ — as he does here with his Groover Quartet, a name that truly states it all.
LeDonne is nicely-schooled in the blues, in the planet of Jimmy Smith and the likes of iconic figures these as Milt Jackson, with whom he labored commonly — including a overall performance here some 22 decades ago as part of the “We Usually Swing” Jazz Collection. LeDonne is just one of these attained gamers who possesses his personal voice, but also happily acknowledges his heroes — the organist Dr. Lonnie Smith getting one.
“This recording,” states LeDonne in the notes, “is devoted to the a person and only Dr. Lonnie Smith for all the yrs of inspiration,” followed by a tongue-in-cheek nod that “It’s All Your Fault.”
LeDonne splits his time right here, allowing us hear massive-band playing on 5 of the eight items and the quartet, comprised of a few of his closest colleagues — tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Joe Farnsworth. Again, this foursome can typically be heard in areas all around New York City.
As for the large ensemble, LeDonne has them wailing throughout. The cast of people below consists of the aforementioned threesome, plus Steve Wilson, Jim Snidero and Scott Robinson adding saxophone parts Jon Faddis and Frank Inexperienced are in the trumpet section Steve Davis and Douglas Purviance, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra’s musical director, kind a single 50 % of the trombone segment and an additional LeDonne “regular,” John Webber handles bass duties.
All in all, cuts this sort of as “Party Time” and “Bags & Brown” — in honor of Jackson and bassist Ray Brown — along with “Blues For Jed” and other cuts hold toes tapping.
Jon W. Poses is government director of the “We Often Swing” Jazz Series. Get to him at email@example.com.