165

Rachel Z: Everlasting

Javier AQ Ortiz By

Sign in to view read count
Rachel Z: Everlasting If one has little sympathy for the jazzification of popular music, low tolerance for jazzified swinging musicality for its own sake, outright disgust for anything other than scorching tempos or abstraction for its own sake, derision for space and breaths of cooled musical air between the polarities of accessible depth and potent fragility, then one should stay clear from Rachel Z. One has to wonder, however, if Z's craft would get more attention than it does among some of the self-important and self-appointed so-called jazz intelligentsia were she butt-ugly, the so-called politically correct type of black or Hispanic, fat, angry, not associated with figures such as Peter Gabriel, and with a more blasé approach to her marketing and merchandising.



In Everlasting, Z deals with material from popular artists such as Sting, Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel and George Harrison, among others. The notion, however, that jazzifying popular musical repertoire would actually succeed in attracting a younger audience to jazz might very well be a venerable-yet-tiresome canard that ought to be disposed off already. Then again, so what? Jazz isn't and hasn't ever been impervious to contact with more popular musical genres; and we all come ahead when artists mine different sources for their works, aside from the unarguable fact that such are inevitable sociological processes.



Soundgarden's hit "Black Hole Sun" is plaintively introduced, reharmonizing its melody, albeit rapidly abandoning angst for a swinging performance that features Z's range to great effect. The pianist's companions, Bobbie Rae on drums—who takes a brief solo towards the end—and Tony Levin on bass, enhance Z with profound simplicity in their accompaniment.



"Mortal" is an airy short piece full of suggestive harmonic and percussive coloration from bass and drums as Z is engaged with deceptively easy to follow changes and progressions as a means of introducing—perhaps as a production afterthought—"Ring of Fire." It works rather well as the latter is engagingly melodic, whilst featuring a variegated swing, with portions of temporal and methodical sparsement.



"Kid Charlemagne" delves into guitar bass hip-driven-coolness, with the enriched melodicism that characterizes much of Z's playing. A deft touch, gorgeous sound, finesse, and light percussive mischievousness are also evident in this interpretation. Much of the same occurs in "Kiss of Life." The other kiss of this production, "Kiss From a Rose," is akin to the rose petal sprinkling scene in American Beauty featuring Mena Suvari.



In a November 2003 Keyboard interview, speaking of Wayne Shorter, Danilo Pérez said: "From Wayne I learned how to follow a beautiful melody with harmonies and rhythms that bring out its intention." Such effective dialoguing, with the bulk of the popular source material of this recording, is what one finds in Everlasting at the hands of Z and company. One caveat, though: Rachel Z's intentions are decidedly jazz-oriented, the original musical intentions of the source material notwithstanding.



Visit Rachel Z on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Here Comes the Sun (G. Harrison) 2. Kiss From a Rose (S. Seal) 3. Interlude (R. Nicolazzo/B. Rae) 4. Mortal (R. Nicolazzo/B. Rae) 5. Ring of Fire (J. Cash/M. Kilgore) 6. Wild Horses (M. Jagger/K. Richard) 7. Black Hole Sun (C. Cornell) 8. Fields of Gold (Sting) 9. Kid Charlemagne (W. Becker/D. Fagen) 10. One Time (A. Belew/W. Brudord/R. Fripp/T. Levin/P. Mastelotto) 11. Tonight Tonight (W.P. Corgan) 12. Kiss of Life (S. Adu/P. Denman/A. Hale/S Matthewman) 13. Interlude (R. Nicolazzo/B. Rae) 14. Red Rain (P. Gabriel)

Personnel: Rachel Z-Piano. Tony Levin-Bass. Bobbie Rae-Drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Tone Center | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Jazzin' Around Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Jazzin' Around Christmas
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "A Tribute to Herbie +1" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Herbie +1
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "In For The Out" CD/LP/Track Review In For The Out
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 12, 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!