For bassist Colley's Architect of the Silent Moment, a conceptual construct (more poetically, a fantasia) for small ensemble, the oft-quoted dictum has rarely seemed more apposite: "Less is more. Colley starts with a core quartet of Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Craig Taborn (keyboards) and Antonio Sanchez (drums), and guests emerge and disappear throughout the subtle, largely written, 54-minute work. Dave Binney's alto fleshes out dodge-and-weave frontlines that recall Shorter/Davis, and wails his lone caterwaul on "From Within. Mouth-harpist Gregoire Maret limns unisons with Binney and/or Alessi at times, and hits a sweet spot on the evocatively titled "Strip Mall Ballet.
Surprising ensemble turns bookend the album and pop up as curious diversions to break up the genial yet ingenious soundscape (two three-minute tracks of gritty free-blow by Alessi and guest pianist Jason Moran precede a Rhodes 'n' piano pedal fade). The title track recalls one of those wistful, angular energy spins of Kenny Wheeler; here Colley gives us his only solo that soon duos with Moran; the ensemble re-peaks and gives way to Maret in a rebuild of majestic heraldry atop Sanchez' crafty underpinnings.
Initial regret for a perceived lack of solos soon gives way to enjoyment exploring cumulative and unrepeated group textures. Towards the end, the band wittily conjures the late Andrew Hill in a quietly understated but all-hands-on-deck "Smoke Stack.
Track Listing: Usual Illusion; Strip Mall Ballet; El Otro; Architect of the Silent Moment; Masoosong; Feign Total; From Within; Smoke Stack; Window of Time.
Personnel: Scott Colley: bass; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Craig Taborn: piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3; Antonio Sanchez: drums. Special guests: Dave Binney: saxophone; Jason Moran: piano; Gregoire Maret: harmonica; Adam Rogers; guitar.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.