Dave King with Bill Carrothers and Billy Peterson: I've Been Ringing You (2012)
Recorded in four hours in a rented church in his home state, the trio set out to create a dark, moody atmosphere, opening with Gordon Jenkins' classic "Goodbye," perhaps the world's saddest song, covered so well by pianist Bobo Stenson on Goodbye(ECM, 2005), and by on pianist Keith Jarrett's duo record with bassist Charlie Haden Jasmine (ECM Records, 2010). King opens the tune with his "waterphone," an eerie, resonant whine, into which Carrothers chimes. The piano sound is intimate and immediate, with a hint of an echoing murk, the individual bristles on David King's scratching, whispering brushes almost countable.
The always mesmerizing melody of alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" gets slowed down, with Carrothers injecting a dark sparkle. King stumbles into Cole Porter's "So In Love," the trio sounding relaxed and looselike the best sessions laid down relatively quickly by top level players. Carrothers careens a bit, a pianist who seems to veer toward rolling out of control in the quicker tempos, but he never does. He's also a perfect pick for the chosen atmosphere, a player who can slow things down until time seems to nearly stop. His take on the Depression era tune, "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," on his I Love Paris (Pirouet Records, 2005), is a small masterpiece of the slow marinating of a familiar melody, as is this trio's take on the much-covered "If I Should Lose You."
King's trio closes with a group improvisation; a mournful and hauntingly beautiful ballad that stands well with the standards, the trio sounds, collectively, as if it has lost a great love, ending I've Been Ringing You on a somber, tear-inducing note.
Track Listing: Goodbye; Lonely Woman; So in Love; Autumn Serenade; If I SShould Lose You; People Will Say; This Nearly Was Mine; I've Been Ringing You.
Personnel: Dave King: drums, waterphone (1): Bill Carrothers: piano; Billy Peterson: drums.
Record Label: Sunnyside Records
Style: Modern Jazz