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CD/LP/Track Review

Bill Carrothers: Joy Spring (2010)

By Published: May 11, 2010
Bill Carrothers: Joy Spring Tribute albums often come in the form of imitative musical gestures from musicians of a like-instrument—such as a saxophonist paying tribute to John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
by trying to copy his style or specific mannerisms. But pianist Bill Carrothers has crafted a different type of homage with Joy Spring, using the piano trio format to flesh out some malleable constructions of songs associated with trumpeter Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
.

Five Brown tunes and four songs by pianist Richie Powell

Richie Powell
b.1931
—who performed with the trumpeter and was killed in the same car wreck that ended Brown's life—make up the bulk of this album. Pianist Duke Jordan
Duke Jordan
Duke Jordan
1922 - 2006
piano
's "Jordu" and Victor Young's "Delilah"—two pieces that Brown performed—and Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
's "I Remember Clifford" help to create a well-rounded examination of the repertory legacy surrounding one of jazz's greatest trumpeters.

Carrothers is joined by drummer Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
b.1966
drums
and bassist Drew Gress
Drew Gress
Drew Gress
b.1959
bass
for this 12-song program. All three musicians are able to use their flexible musical minds and muscles to create something new with each one of these pieces, yet they still maintain respect for each song's core essence. The title track lacks the effervescence that one might expect and is transformed into a somber, staid piano feature.

Powell's "Time" is another song that slowly drifts along with a sad elegance. This particular track begins with a freely played bass introduction, allowing Gress to create time at will. While Carrothers clearly demonstrates how to craft introverted musical explorations, he also knows how to really cut loose. Carrothers and Stewart have fun poking back and forth at each other during "Gerkin for Perkin," and both men are also on fire during the energetic trip through "Powell's Prances."

"Delilah" conjures images of a camel ride through the desert, on the way to exotic and far-off lands. Carrothers doesn't stray too far from the familiar melody— complete with wonderful tremolo sounds—and Gress gets to go further out on this one. Dissonant chordal clusters are used to establish a foundation for "Jordu" and, after laying out the melody, Carrothers eventually ratchets up the intensity and excitement levels a bit.

"I Remember Clifford" takes a little while to coalesce, but it's worth the wait. While some slightly darker hues make their way into this take, it serves the music well and—like all of the rest of the material here—pays tribute to Clifford Brown in its own way.


Track Listing: Junior's Arrival; Joy Spring; Jacqui; Gerkin For Perkin; Delilah; Gertrude's Bounce; Jordu; Daahoud; Time; Powell's Prances; Tiny Capers; I Remember Clifford.

Personnel: Bill Carrothers: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Bill Stewart: drums.

Record Label: Pirouet Records

Style: Modern Jazz



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