Amazon.com Widgets

Gerry Hemingway Quintet: Double Blues Crossing (2006)

By Published: | 5,912 views
Gerry Hemingway Quintet: Double Blues Crossing How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

If Gerry Hemingway's other 2005 release, The Whimbler—with his current quartet—presented a surprisingly straight-ahead facet of his music, this quintet album is far more intriguing and, well, strange. Opening to the (sampled) sounds of old-time fiddle-driven folk music, the seven-part title suite sounds like the soundtrack to some yet-to-be-made movie. In his sleeve notes, Hemingway even gives us an intriguing taster that reads like something from Steinbeck, with its characters Rosa Abigail, Buddy Luckett and Joe Cracklin.

Although the suite moves seamlessly between sections, like a soundtrack it is episodic, featuring frequent shifts of mood and tempo. It enhances its atmosphere by integrating sampled material seamlessly alongside composed and improvised music, most obviously bullfrogs and crickets (I think!). The written ensemble passages utilize all of the players to excellent effect, allowing space for their individual voices to be heard but never to dominate. Of the five, Hemingway himself is the least visible, never in the spotlight but always underpinning the band. At its best, as on "It Ain't Slippery But It's Wet, the band achieves the kind of loosely anarchic swing that is very difficult to achieve without becoming too rigid or too loose: the musical equivalent of tightrope walking.

Following the suite, the three remaining tracks present contrasting facets of the quintet. "Rallier allows solo space for individuals, featuring Frank Gratowski on bass clarinet, a barnstormer from Wolter Wiebos on trombone, plus an all too brief solo spot for Hemingway himself, before coming to a climax with a tasty ensemble riff. In complete contrast, "Night Town/Tent is a cool, impressionistic composition with marimba and strings well to the fore. The closer, "Slowly Rising, lives up to its title—with a loping rhythm reminiscent of township jazz and fine interplay between the horns, it smolders without ever quite catching fire.

Track Listing: Double Blues Crossing: Buddy Lucketts Dream By The Dry Grass Pt. 1, Where The Once Never Blues; Buddy Lucketts Dream By The Dry Grass Pt. 2; Dont Melt Away Pt. 1 & 2; It Aint Slippery But Its Wet; Joe Cracklin Left This Before The River Got Him; Rallier; Night Town/Tent; Slowly Rising.

Personnel: Frank Gratowski: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Wolter Wierbos: trombone; Amit Sen: cello; Kermit Driscoll: acoustic and electric bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums, marimba, sampler.

Record Label: Between the Lines

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?