Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

John Moriarty: Echoes

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Adopting a traditional, straight-ahead approach to the quartet, Irish guitarist John Moriarty gathered three established New York-based musicians for one day in the Bunker Studios, Brooklyn. The title suggests homage, and there is a hint of classic Blue Note in the leader's clean lines—evocative of guitarist Jim Hall—and in half of the songs that delve into jazz's past for inspiration. But that's only half the story, for Moriarty's original compositions have a slightly more modern feel. However, the success of the album lies in the seamless transition from past to present and in the tremendous playing, which strikes a lovely balance between melodicism and flowing improvisation.

Moriarty takes an uncomplicated approach to Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays." Drummer Adam Pache's ride cymbal, bassist Matt Clohesy's walking bass and pianist Randy Ingram's uncluttered chords lend solid support that buoys the leader's beautifully articulated phrases. Moriarty's solo flows, but with an economy of notes, and throughout the recording the quartet breathes a relaxed air that comes from enjoying plenty of space. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter's "Fall" lends itself to this less-is-more approach; Moriarty's playing is as light as angel's hair, with Ingram's touch on electric piano suitably understated. The pianist's solo is all right hand, with Moriarty's whammy caresses substituting left-hand piano chords in a subtle use of dynamics.

Moriarty's "Echoes of the Future" has greater zip, with the rhythm section on double time duties. Guitar, piano and drums all enjoy solo time on this Kurt Rosenwinkel-esque bop number. Another original, the ballad "Ninety Six," is a beautifully intimate trio dialog, with piano sitting out. Clohesy and Moriarty support each other's elegant exchanges, while Pache plays quiet time-keeper on brushes, employing deft, unobtrusive accents. The jaunty head of "Meandering" is the launching pad for melodic exploration. The rhythm section keeps it tight with repeated patterns, providing a solid platform for Ingram and Moriarty to stretch out. Clohesy gets a little slice of the action towards the end but this tune is more about the collective vibe.

Composer Billy Strayhorn's much-covered "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" is given a balladic intimacy similar to that on Moriarty's "Ninety Six." One of the highlights of a uniformly engaging recording is the leader's "Delirium," an infectious tune and the most overtly contemporary of the eight compositions. The bright guitar head, built around a skeletal yet propulsive rhythmic frame, serves as the inspiration for Moriarty's cheerily engaging solo. Ingram follows suit and ups the bidding with his most melodically appealing intervention of the set. Moriarty switches to acoustic on the quietly captivating standard "Midnight in Vermont," with sotto voce support from bass and brushes. This tender trio statement makes for a fine send off.

Moriarty's Echoes is a quietly impressive affair. An undemonstrative musician, the guitarist practices the art of gentle seduction, with simpatico support from top rate players. Moriarty is also a luthier and designed and built the 'model-D' archtop he plays. Though these tunes were assembled much faster than the guitar that realizes them, they too hold something organic, heartfelt and utterly persuasive.

Track Listing: Yesterdays; Fall; Echoes of the Future; Ninety Six; Meandering; A Flower is a Lonesome Thing; Delirium; Moonlight in Vermont.

Personnel: John Moriarty: guitar; Randy Ingram: piano; Adam Pache; drums; Matt Clohesy: bass.

Title: Echoes | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Lyte Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Live 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1972
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Live In Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Europe
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Groovin' Hard: Live at the Penthouse 1964-1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' Hard: Live at the Penthouse 1964-1968
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "The Good Life" CD/LP/Track Review The Good Life
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "What Brought You Here?" CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017

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!