131

Franklin/Clover/Seales: Colemanology

Eric J. Iannelli By

Sign in to view read count
Franklin/Clover/Seales: Colemanology The title of this disc, this trio's third for the unique Indiana-based Beezwax label, suggests that Ornette Coleman is a field of study or expression unto himself, a notion few Coleman fans are likely to dispute. But aside from the long and loose closing title track penned by pianist Marc Seales, this veteran jazz outfit tends to walk a more conservative and composed line than Coleman is renowned for.

Louis Armstrong's "Basin Street Blues," which precedes "Colemanology" (not to be confused with trumpeter Bill Coleman's eponymous tune), is slowed down to the point where it can barely muster the will to move forward, a state of near-inertia complemented by the trio's instrumental sparseness. Drummer Steve Clover hardly makes so much as a breath in the background as Seales maximizes every note and chord. He builds up to a series of rushes and tumbles to close out his solo, but Henry Franklin pulls on the reins during his ensuing deep-voiced, ponderous bass solo.

The opening melodic line of Seales' "Monterey" has a classic sound to it. Echoing fragments of Franklin's early solo, Seales experiments with various methods of escalation and descent. This is followed by Pat Metheny's "Question and Answer," with its subtly changing call and steadfast response. The treatment is nothing approaching radical but it is articulate and sincere, and Clover's stuttering drum beat contrasts well with the overall fluidity of Seales and Franklin. Joe Zawinul's Weather Report ballad "A Remark You Made" is found here in a slightly darker romantic interpretation that, rather like the original, inches toward the boundary separating the poetic from the sentimental. The Rodgers and Hart chart "You Are Too Beautiful" is another straight-ahead number, this with a bit more pep than the two tracks on either side of it. It may err on the side of the traditional, but at the end of its brisk five-minute run, one invariably has the feeling that it's good to have been along for the ride.

Colemanology distinguishes itself from other recordings through its intimacy and—though this may seem odd considering its titular nod to Coleman and its four non-original charts—its pleasant feeling of self-containment. That is to say, the musicians don't appear to be making any bold references to the past and present; they express no special desire to be included among the grand dialogue. They are entirely content to conduct their private three-way conversation off to the side. In that way Colemanology feels like a comfortable respite while other records are shouting back and forth across the ages, aching to be heard and have their contributions, however large or small, acknowledged. Fitting, then, that it should be released on a modest independent label that assembles and numbers its albums by hand.


Track Listing: 1. Monterey (6:19) 2. Question and Answer (9:14) 3. A Remark You Made (5:52) 4. You Are Too Beautiful (4:51) 5. Basin Street Blues (6:10) 6. Colemanology (11:11)

Personnel: Henry Franklin (bass), Steve Clover (drums), Marc Seales (piano)

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Beezwax Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "North Star" CD/LP/Track Review North Star
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Blow" CD/LP/Track Review Blow
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!