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Vincent Gardner: Three-Five (2010)

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The title here refers to both trombonist Vincent Gardner's age and the time signatures (3/4 and 5/4) of the majority of the tracks on this CD. Gardner says the "idea for the date was to try these pieces in a different meter. It's amazing that when you drop a beat and take a tune usually played in 4/4 down to 3/4 its character changes and therefore you respond differently." It's not really that straightforward; Gardner doesn't simply cast pieces in a steady 3/4 or 5/4 like Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
1920 - 2012
piano
or the early hard boppers did, but takes liberties with rhythms within the meters as well as delivering fresh, often intricate arrangements reimagining more familiar tunes. A case in point is his fugue-like recasting of Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
' "Valse Hot," dispensing with full rhythm section during the theme and changing up rhythmic emphasis while maintaining the kernel 3/4 during solos.

Seven of the nine tracks are from a sterling sextet with brother Derrick Gardner
Derrick Gardner
Derrick Gardner

trumpet
(trumpet), Mark Gross (alto and soprano sax), Aaron Goldberg (piano), Greg Williams (bass) and the inventive drummer Ali Jackson. All arrangements are by the leader and include a Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
1935 - 1974
piano
' "Dat Dere" deftly waltzed with tango accents; Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
1938 - 1972
trumpet
's "Morgan the Pirate" in lilting swing; Tommy Turrentine's "Long As Your Living" in a fleet, swing-feel 5/4 contrasted with James Black
James Black
1940 - 1988
drums
's "Wee Dee" as rocking mid-tempo 5/4; Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
's "Sweet 'N' Sour" as a bright waltz and Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
b.1941
vibraphone
's "Little B's Poem" kept in an oddly accented 4/4. Shorter's sinuous "Iris" is a trombone-with-rhythm track with a slow, vaguely 3/4 feel. And "I'll Never Smile Again" takes a cue from the late Richie Powell
Richie Powell
b.1931
's hard bop revampings of standards like "I'll Remember April" for Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
and Max Roach
Max Roach
Max Roach
1925 - 2007
drums
, with Gross laying out and the two brothers voicing the crackling fast theme.

Track Listing: Sweet 'n' Sour; Valse Hot; Dat Dere; Iris; Long As You're Living; Dee Wee; Little B's Poem; Morgan The Pirate; I'll Never Smile Again.

Personnel: Derrick Gardner: trumpet; Vincent Gardner: trombone; Aaron Goldberg: piano; Mark Gross: alto sax; Ali Jackson: drums; Greg Williams: bass.

Record Label: SteepleChase Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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