And the collection continues to grow…
This is one of those re-packaged, two-albums-on-one-CD re-issues that was so popular in the mid to late ’90s, when CDs became the standard format. This one features Jarrett’s first record as leader, 1967’s Life Between the Exit Signs, with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, and 1971’s El Juicio, with what would become known as the American Quartet (Jarrett, Haden and Motian plus saxman Dewey Redman).
Monk’s best-selling record and his first with Columbia, this one mostly features songs he had recorded previously throughout his career. Only “Bright Mississippi” is making its first appearance here, but everything sounds fresh and interesting. A good starting point if you don’t have any Monk.
Another great record from my favorite piano trio. It absolutely boggles the mind to consider what Scott LaFaro was able to accomplish in only 25 years. This is the first record by this trio, and they are more straight forward than they would be on Waltz for Debby or Sunday at the Village Vanguard, but LaFaro was already venturing far outside the standard role of the bass in a trio. Evans’ playing is as spot-on as ever- every note he plays always sounds so right, without ever sounding corny.
One of the more interesting drummers working today, Brian Blade brings a different point of view to everything he plays on. His uniqueness shines most brilliantly on his own work, and The Fellowship Band is the perfect augmentation for his style. Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and horn players Myron Waldron and Melvin Butler are given ample room to stretch out, while the rhythm section of Blade, pianist Jon Cowherd and bassist Chris Thomas propel the compositions from often pensive beginnings to frantic heights.
I’m just now realizing that Paul Motian is the drummer on 4 of the 6 records I bought this weekend, and that each was recorded in a different decade: Portrait of Jazz in ’59, Life Between the Exit Signs in ’67, El Juicio in ’71 and this one in 2007. This is a very free record, with all three musicians listening as hard as they’re playing. The interplay between Frissell and Lovano is the perfect counterpoint to Motian’s explorations.