357

Joe Lovano, Jim Hall, George Mraz, Lewis Nash: Grand Slam: Live at the Regattabar

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
At first glance this may seem like a thrown-together all-star session. It’s actually an inspired collaboration between four heavyweights who have all worked together in various projects over the years. The pairing of Jim Hall and Joe Lovano is propitious from the very first notes of Hall’s "Slam," one of the wildest blues heads you’ll ever hear. Hall’s solos on this and several other tracks are processed with a harmonizer, allowing him to articulate his ideas in fourths, fifths, and octaves. On his distinctly Rollins-esque "Say Hello to Calypso," the device is set to mirror the played note up two octaves, producing an effect that sounds uncannily like a steel pan. On Lovano’s "Blackwell’s Message," Hall’s minimalistic, phase-shifted solo sounds almost like something John Scofield might play. Dedicated to the late drummer Ed Blackwell, this track is a superb example of Lovano’s "outside" writing, the kind heard on disc one of 1995’s Quartets, for instance: abstract yet with a subtle, infectious groove at its very core. Lovano’s alto clarinet provides an additional, intriguing layer.

Mraz and Nash were once the rhythm section for the mighty Tommy Flanagan, so their strong rapport is never in doubt. Mraz takes an especially good solo on Hall’s "All Across the City," a ballad that the guitarist has recorded in two very different duo contexts, with Bill Evans in 1966 and with Pat Metheny in 1999. Nash holds together the chaotic "Feel Free," which the group cleverly splits into two duo passages — the first featuring Nash and Lovano, the second Hall and Mraz.

Grand Slam is not a one-time blowing session, but a well-constructed dialogue between four inventive musicians with highly complementary musical visions.

| Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Music From Max Fleischer Cartoons" CD/LP/Track Review Music From Max Fleischer Cartoons
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Chronicles" CD/LP/Track Review Chronicles
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Stripped" CD/LP/Track Review Stripped
by James Nadal
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Intuitus" CD/LP/Track Review Intuitus
by John Eyles
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "Nearness" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness
by Doug Collette
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!