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  • Navdeep Jhaj wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Nice to see Lee get some plaudits. A great player who has probably spent a career flying slightly under the radar--perhaps due to the fact that, like the more well known Paul Desmond, was one of the few alto players that didn't try to out Bird Bird.

    As for the repertoire:

    What Is This Thing Called Love?; Body & Soul; Stella By Starlight; I'll Remember April; I Remember You; I Can't Get Started.

    This is pretty much la creme-de-la-creme of standards. Indeed, certain tunes (Body and Soul and What is This Thing Called Love), when played as ballads, reveal the inner-most secrets of the player, akin to a supreme musical litmus test. I'm not sure I subscribe to the theory that these tunes are *worn out*, even if they are, in fact, "approached far too literally" (head/solo queue/head). I remember reading something on the AAJ discussion boards by a little known but interesting guitarist (Jake Hanlon) who pointed out the obvious point: standards are standards because they have survived the test of time; if a version is payed badly, it's down to the player, not the tune.

    I think two of the elements of the interplay that you point out in your review are very illustrative of jazz and its development, of the continuity of the tradition and also its modernization. :

    No pyrotechnics: this has always been true, practically a sin qua non. Jazz phrasing has always been about subtlety, about beautiful lyricism. No room for over-affectation and gratuitous hyperbole. Or even Mariah Carey *I'm seriously constipated as I belt out this lyric; someone get me a laxative*.

    little clear delineation: I think this is more modern, really pioneered by Miles' 2nd quintet. For players of a certain stature, using the old AABA/Tin Pan Alley format of head/solos/head would be the epitome of boredom.

  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Yeah John, a very cool (and how it is) respectful article on the real deal among the legends that live and walk aongst us yet. Gary Peacok was one of the many cats that I played with at the many sessions in and around L.a. back in the day- when we were all of us cutting our respective teeth on this NEW art form called BAM/JAZZ back then (early 1950s) if you could play or had a healthy desire to do so- the senior cats on the stand helped-called out the changes to any one of us young cats that were trying -and starting to loose it on any particulat tune on the stand and in the room at the time!

    There was a Hey, were in this together feeling that prevailed amongst all. No raceism-very little ego problems.We knew that we were invoved in some thing new and wonderful at the time and that feeling dictated our behavier and mutual respect for the music-the audiences and each other. John thanks for the article. Comming from you - with all of your varied experience in and arouned the music will hopefully catch the attention of some of todays young bloods-and maybe-just maybe give them pause for thought. And get past and over this auto immune desiease (raceism in our music) that destroys it's own body from with in. Wishing you well---John, did you ever recieve the two sides that i sent you sometime ago? Mort

  • John Kelman wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Thanks, Mort, for the kind words - especially given our little tete-a-tete today. Just one example of a writer who does his homework and is simply trying to help the folks who make the music by spreading a positive word....

    PS: And as per my reply in the other thread, yes, got 'em, thanks and sorry for not letting you know - it has been a crazy summer and I'm having a little trouble keeping up!

  • Mort Weiss wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    Hello John, GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU:) Hey, were on the same team and love the same things that makes living (just that) as opposed to exsisting! I occasinetly bare my fangs I apoligize if ive said any thing offensive- but what the hell an occasional F**k you between like minded folks is cool:)

    John please excuse my lack of knoweledge on this -but if you do reviews-I would ask Michael to let you do the review on it---NO STRINGS--I WOULD RESPECT ANY AND ALL TAKES FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE. (just realized that I havn't told you what I would like you to review) At my age one thinks of a stroke - stuck out my tounge- raised my arms every thing seems in place-the only thing different is all of a sudden I can speak FLUID Armaeic. Onward.

    Im talking about reviewing my new record that will be out late October- I would be Honored---IM extremly happy with it and their is nothing that any one could say (re same) that would hurt. John I've a lot of scare tissue. Please let me know your thoughts on this proposed project. All thats good, I remain, Mort Weiss

  • John Kelman wrote on September 18, 2012 report

    All's cool, but let's take discussion of your new album offline. Please email me at and we can talk about it.

  • Noddy Zekrya wrote on September 26, 2012 report

    Wicked Review. Cheers!

  • John Kelman wrote on September 26, 2012 report

    Thanks, Noddy!

  • Allen Morrison wrote on October 09, 2012 report

    Very enjoyable review! Seeing these masters re-construct these great tunes recently at the Blue Note was a pleasure, and your review does them (and the album) justice.

  • John Kelman wrote on October 09, 2012 report

    Thanks for the kind words, Alan - and if you are saying you actually got to see these guys live, I am insanely jealous... :)

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write, glad you enjoyed the review, I sure loved the record.