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Alec Spiegelman / Lefteris Kordis / Thor Thorvaldsson: Bebop Trio (2011)

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Alec Spiegelman / Lefteris Kordis / Thor Thorvaldsson: Bebop Trio How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The theme of "walk, don't run" occurs throughout the entirety of Bebop Trio, a suite of improvisations on the sometimes pell-mell music of Herbie Nichols
Herbie Nichols
Herbie Nichols
1919 - 1963
piano
, Lennie Tristano
Lennie Tristano
Lennie Tristano
1919 - 1978
piano
, Elmo Hope
Elmo Hope
Elmo Hope
1923 - 1967
piano
, Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Bud Powell
1924 - 1966
piano
, George Shearing
George Shearing
George Shearing
1919 - 2011
piano
and Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
. Played by three accommodating and adaptive musicians, the familiar and frenetic becomes casual and conversant.

Where Powell's "Celia" is usually consumed with a bebop pulse, the trio skirts the conventional approach, serving the meal as mere aroma, though there is quite enough sense recognition to identify the music. Indeed, that is the prowess of this endeavor. These three players operate on such a cooperative and collective manner, that their improvisatory explorations never dead end. Tristano's "317 East 32nd" glides in on some dissonance, only to unfurl a much gentler, sympathetic version of the tune.

The trio prefers its bebop to be chamber jazz; certainly, addressing the music with clarinet/piano/drums much like Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
's trio work adds to the mischievousness. Alec Spiegelman, eschewing his saxophone here for the more conservative clarinet, boosts the contributions from pianist Lefteris Kordis and drummer Thor Thorvaldsson, who is free to accent with cymbals or emphasize notes with a rattling pulse, like a gentler version of Han Bennink
Han Bennink
Han Bennink
b.1942
drums
.

Resurrecting Hope and Nichols' music here is a wondrous tribute to these still-neglected song writers. Nichols "Change of Season" and Hope's "Boa" are both (re)introduced as gentleman's melodies, as are the trio's recovery of Ellington's "Zurzday" and Shearing's "Conception," both re-imagined as beautiful dreams.

Track Listing: Prelude; Celia; Zurzday; First Interlude; Conception; Boa; Second Interlude; Chorale; Change of Season; 317 East 32nd; Celia (Reprise); Postlude.

Personnel: Lefteris Kordis: piano; Alec Spiegelman: clarinet; Thor Thorvaldsson: drums.

Record Label: Creative Nation Music


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