The cd artwork of “Eye’ll Be Seeing You” alludes to the famous “eyeball” scene(s) in the classic 1929 Luis Bunuel/Salvadore Dali film “Chien Andalou”. Admittedly, I have not scene this film in years; however, it was cinematically light years ahead of its time and obviously surrealistic. Bassist and composer Mark Dresser has in turn, written a score for this film. Dresser points out “My score written in 1996 aims at supporting the structure of the film editing, while achieving some musical counterpoint to the imagery”. Dresser and co. succeed on all counts. The tight-knit trio of Dresser (b), Chris Speed (saxophones) and Anthony Coleman (keys) are a world class unit with plenty of ideas and resources at their command.
The movements of Dresser’s “Chien Andalou” capture the film’s “surrealistic aspects” and are invoked via the imaginative phrasing, playfulness and ubiquitous sense of color that is prevalent throughout. Dresser, Speed and Coleman generate bounds of imagery with passages of subtle beauty befitting a well-rehearsed chamber ensemble; however, the music represents less austerity than your typical classical piece. Dresser emulates laughter with his arco bass, Speed is apt to talk through his clarinet while Coleman reminds us that this is an unworldly place with his decorative melodic inflections and airy lyricism. Coleman’s “A Propos De Nice” is a thought provoking piece of a film unbeknownst to me. Here, Coleman dabbles with abstracts, shifting moods and shimmering motifs. Coleman is an established composer in his own right. Also, there is a tribute to West Coast trumpet maestro Bobby Bradford which is simply titled “For Bradford”; however, this track is listed as track 13 and should be the final track according to the track list. My cd player displays 16 total tracks. In any event all “Eye’ll Be Seeing You” is a lovely recording, which adds to the many surprises of a fine 1998 jazz year. These lads are synonymous with the “new jazz” way of thinking and seem to enjoy themselves during the process..... it shows. Highly Recommended. .