178

Bob Belden: Black Dahlia

Craig Jolley BY

Sign in to view read count
Bob Belden: Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia comes off better felt than listened to. In the liner notes Bob Belden describes his programmatic suite as a portrait of a mysterious, romantic loner who lived out her brief life through movies in post-WWII Hollywood. He borrows "moody" techniques from 1940's film score writers and gives them a jazzy spin.

Miles Davis and Gil Evans serve as the primary jazz inspirations. The most prominent soloist, trumpeter Tim Hagans, evokes Miles' stark, blue sound with and without harmon mute. He recalls Miles' open-ended "Solea" solo on "City of Angels." The rhythm section occasionally takes its feel from Miles' 1960's band (Hancock-Carter-Williams). For example the drum motif in "Dreamworld" is borrowed from Tony Williams ("In a Silent Way"). The orchestral sonority often derives from Evans' "Sketches of Spain" charts, and lush strings otherwise add to the period nostalgia. The most extroverted piece, "The Edge of Forever," evokes a late-40's big band feel complete with Latin jazz trappings.

Besides Hagans a variety of soloists are liberally featured, but they mainly stay in place, reinforcing moods by noodling on Belden's shadowy themes before fading away. Belden briefly solos on "Dreamworld" with a mid-50's Coltrane (Miles Davis quintet) sound but without Coltrane's urgency. The high point is the intuitive tenor-cello (Lovano-Friedlander) duet on "Danza d' Amore." Herwig promisingly launches his "The Edge of Forever" statement with the "Resolution" motif from Coltrane's A Love Supreme, but like most other soloists he remains within the lines.

Personnel

Bob Belden: arranger.

Album information

Title: Black Dahlia | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Atlantic Jazz

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

In Our Time
Victor Gould
Someday, Something
Rebecca DuMaine
Lumina
Pedro Melo Alves
Human Rites Trio
Jason Kao Hwang
Re-Union
Matthew Shipp / William Parker
A New Dawn
Marius Neset
Graduation
Il Sogno

Popular

Absence
Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective
The Garden
Rachel Eckroth
Time Frames
Michael Waldrop

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.