138

Larry Bluth, Don Messina, Bill Chattin: Five Concerts and a Landscape

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
The title to this one derives from the five concerts where these ten selections were recorded; the landscape, by the late Annette Bluth-Lukemire, to whom this disc is dedicated, is on the front cover. Most of the cuts are the sorts of standards favored by Tristano-school players like Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz; pianist Bluth, backed by the bass of Messina and the drums of Chattin, plays them in Konitzian manner – sweetly and brightly, but with daring and piquant harmonies that might slip right by you if you're not paying attention. This sort of playing transfixed performers like Anthony Braxton, who emulates it on his standards recordings and shows marks of it in all his work. Braxton once described the effect of listening to a new Warne Marsh record after a steady diet of Coltrane, Ayler and Coleman: he said that coming from that perspective, he couldn't hear it, but that Marsh was playing things that were just as "out" as these outcats.

That's what this disc is like. From one angle, it's a pleasant collection of songs like "My Melancholy Baby," "You Go to My Head," "Lover Come Back to Me," "You Stepped Out of a Dream," "Darn That Dream," and "I'll Remember April." As if the world needed more interpretations of those. But Bluth, Messina, and Chattin lay down grooves that reward those who take the time to listen attentively. On every track, Bluth takes the songs into uncharted waters, sounding harmonically a bit like Martial Solal, who has recorded some memorable standards with Konitz, over the rhythm section's cool and upbeat background all the while.

On the basis of Bluth's adventurous but never grating playing, this disc is worth hearing. The sound quality of these live club tracks leaves much to be desired, but the music is there for anyone who listens.


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 "Soldani Dieci Anni" CD/LP/Track Review Soldani Dieci Anni
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Guilty Saints" CD/LP/Track Review Guilty Saints
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Romance 76" CD/LP/Track Review Romance 76
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "ReNew" CD/LP/Track Review ReNew
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Basement Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Blues
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 17, 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!