Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lambic Jazz Vol. 3

Charlie Haden Dewey Redman Paul Motian
It's Wednesday night after class and that means beer and jazz time. Only one disc tonight as there are dishes waiting to be done - Kieth Jarrett's The Survivor's Suite (ECM) from 1976 with Jarrett (piano, soprano sax, bass recorder, celeste, osi drum) Dewey Redman (tenor sax, percussion) Charlie Haden (bass) Paul Motian (drums, percussion)

The album is comprised of two tracks, each running over 20 minutes with fluctuations in feel and density that keep things moving along and engaging, which makes for a really well-paced album.

While many listeners are probably more interested in Jarrett's piano playing, I'm curious about his work on soprano saxophone. His playing doesn't sound like other players of the straight horn or that era (or since really). It's a stripped-back approach, kind of raw and unpolished with an emphasis on melody, sound and texture rather than flashy chops. Sam Newsome describes Jarrett's approach to the soprano as "organic" - it's definitely not genetically modified. Well worth checking out (as is Sam's playing!).

Haden's bass playing is a wonderful lesson in economy that is seldom heard. As and accompanist and soloist, he has the rare quality of being able to use the minimum amount of notes to maximum effect - with a great sound to boot. His partnership with Motian is one of my favorite rhythm sections. For that reason alone I don't know why I haven't checked out more from this group (aside from some listen sessions at the library some years ago). Add it to the list I guess! I'll get around to it, but before I do, The Survivor's Suite will get a few more listens. The 48 minutes fly by (hence this being a rather quick post). Highly recommended. And now it's time to do the dishes.

More Lambic Jazz: Volume 1 - Volume 2

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