Interpreting established pieces from the familiar repertoire along with creative originals, Bobo Stenson and his trio deliver a lyrical performance that emphasizes relaxed clarity. The pianist's deliberate manner looks deep within itself for inspiration. He intones meaningfully and allows each phrase to simmer to its fullest extent. Along with two like-minded musical partners, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Paul Motian, he explores sonic fullness with slow and deliberate care. The trio discovers each inhibited theme only after exhaustive soul-searching and through creative interplay. Stenson's luxurious piano phrases melt when exposed.
Jormin's "Seli" drifts casually, as if the music were floating on water and gently buoyed by the wind. Stenson's natural inclination for expressing what we feel works wonders on the soul. Henry Purcell's "Music for a While" folds its classical theme with a modern jazz walk. Ornette Coleman's "Race Face" appears upbeat as the trio drives it with a free spirit. The piece gives them occasion to jump into a rhythmic groove that closes the album with a positive glow.
In keeping with its title, Jormin's "Allegretto Rubato" runs helter-skelter without moving down the street in a linear fashion. The trio takes this one in little circles that ebb and flow with a free spirit. Stenson's Queer Street" relates an eerie feeling, while Motian's "Sudan" provides an exotic impression. Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" finds the trio enveloped in a slow ballad rendering that oozes reflective charms.
Most of the session moves slowly with deliberate expression. Bobo Stenson's focus remains tied to introspective interpretation and sharing with his audience a love for lyric beauty.
Track Listing: Send in the Clowns; Rowan; Alfonsina; There Comes a Time; Song About Earth; Seli;
Goodbye; Music for a While; Allegretto Rubato; Jack of Clubs; Sudan; Queer Street; Triple
Play; Race Face.
Personnel: Bobo Stenson: piano; Anders Jormin: double-bass; Paul Motian: drums.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.