All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Andy Zimmerman: Half Light

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Andy Zimmerman is not a household name. The native Chicagoan has been composing, performing, and teaching music for more than two decades. In part, he comes to the subscription-based vinyl label Newvelle by virtue of a long association with the label's co-founder Elan Mehler, himself an accomplished jazz pianist. Mehler and Zimmerman played together at New York University, toured in Europe and recorded on Mehler's debut album. Much of Zimmerman's recent work has been as a musical accompanist to his author/storyteller father, Jack.

On Zimmerman's debut as leader, Half Light, the group is outstanding. After forty recordings as a leader, and with top-tier artists from Bill Frisell to Tom Waits, Dave Douglas needs no introduction. Kevin Hays deserves far more recognition than he has received to date. Having been recruited by Sonny Rollins back in 1995, Hays has gone on to record twenty albums as a leader/co-leader, including duo recordings with Brad Mehldau, and with Lionel Loueke on an earlier Newvelle release, Hope (2017). Bassist Matt Penman has appeared on close to three-dozen albums, working with Joshua Redman, Chris Cheek, Nils Wogram and the SF Jazz Collective, to name just a few.

Zimmerman wrote seven of the eleven tracks on Half Light and, while his approach is often low-key, there is a great deal of nuanced variability on the program. Hermeto Pascoal's "Montreux" is only slightly less bucolic than the flautist's original, and here with a touch of Eastern European flavor. "Sunset and the Mockingbird" is a movement from "The Queen's Suite" by Duke Ellington. Although the song was not originally a blues tune (but with a bluesy sound) Zimmerman emphasizes those qualities in his stunning version of it.

On his own compositions, Zimmerman floats from more complex and heavier qualities for slower tempos, to clear and more agile timbres for the faster ones. In the first case—as on "Golden Hours"—Zimmerman's saxophone, in combination with Douglas' muted trumpet, creates an effect that is dream-like and mesmerizing. The drummer-less quartet benefits from Penman, who keeps things in sync, subtly adding his accents and accompaniments to advance the music, even as the rest of the group trades-off in developing the music. Half Light is beautifully recorded and Zimmerman's strikingly-original compositions deserve to be heard.


Track Listing: Side A: Half Light; Clearing; Orr Springs Road; Montreux; The Bay Area; Two Sapphires. Side B: Crossing Iowa; Bess You Is My Woman Now; Lena’s Dance; Sunset and the Mockingbird; Golden Hours.

Personnel: Andy Zimmerman: tenor saxophone; Dave Douglas: trumpet; Kevin Hays: piano; Matt Penman: bass.

Title: Half Light | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Newvelle Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Half Light

Half Light

Newvelle Records
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Life Of Sensitive Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Life Of Sensitive Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Jericho Sinfonia" CD/LP/Track Review Jericho Sinfonia
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "We Out Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "My Favorite Things(1960-1969)" CD/LP/Track Review My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)" CD/LP/Track Review Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)
by John Kelman
Published: June 6, 2018