182

Gerry Hemingway: Double Blues Crossing

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Gerry Hemingway: Double Blues Crossing Double Blues Crossing is actually two records in one. The first is a set of five related tracks carrying the record's title, which together could easily be a soundtrack to a short movie of the story that is presented in the liner notes. The Buddy Luckett and Joe Cracklin named in the tracks are characters in the story of a mysterious death in the poor South told by Rosa Abigail to the narrator, who just might be Hemingway himself.

The music is very dramatic and creates images, as a good soundtrack should, of darkness, mystery, wet fields and black water. The music makes sparing use of Hemingway's electronic sampler, mixed with both musical and non-music sounds from the quintet of Frank Gratkowski (reeds), Wolter Wierbos (trombone), Amit Sen (cello), Kermit Driscoll (acoustic and electric bass) and Hemingway himself (drums, marimba). Somehow it manages to hint at the deep South and the Blues, without an overt sustained rhythm or exposed blue note.

"Don't Melt Away, Pts. 1 & 2" especially can be heard as some kind of bizarre New Orleans funeral march lead by the trombone, which fits the place, but it's played in anything but the correct style; and yet, somehow, it feels to be from that city, maybe from a cemetery. Then again, this might all be projection on my part.

The music can successfully be separated (admittedly with some effort) from the story and even from the track titles, leaving material which could be used for a modern ballet. The dancers would be filling in with movement the drama which is already present in the music.

The three remaining tracks, while not part of the official story, manage to stay in the mood, without ever screaming the blues or the South. "Rallier" is a kind of shout for trombone that wails over cool walking bass and subtle but propulsive drumming. "Night Town/Tent," the longest and most abstract track, is more atmospheric than anything else. "Slowly Rising" again somehow evokes the feel of the small town South with its simple string double stops, hopping rhythms and oscillating harmony.

Double Blues Crossing grabs the listener's attention and maintains its hold throughout by hinting at substance enshrouded by shadow. There are no real melodies, but collective sounds that shift and change, creating moods and impressions. In the end, it is a rewarding trip for anyone who dares drift down the river in the black of the night.


Track Listing: Double Blues Crossing: Buddy Lucketts Dream By The Dry Grass Pt. 1, Where The Once Never Blues; Buddy Lucketts Dream By The Dry Grass Pt. 2; Dont Melt Away Pt. 1 & 2; It Aint Slippery But Its Wet; Joe Cracklin Left This Before The River Got Him; Rallier; Night Town/Tent; Slowly Rising.

Personnel: Frank Gratowski: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Wolter Wierbos: trombone; Amit Sen: cello; Kermit Driscoll: acoustic and electric bass; Gerry Hemingway: drums, marimba, sampler.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Between the Lines | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
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 "Garden 2nd Set" CD/LP/Track Review Garden 2nd Set
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Soul Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Tree
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Gurutopia" CD/LP/Track Review Gurutopia
by James Nadal
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!