Irvin Mayfield with Gordon Parks: Half Past Autumn Suite

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The jazz suite has grown into an art form all its own. Ellington created the form in the same way Franz Josef Haydn created the string quartet. Both men did not so much create the form by stimulating its genesis as much as bringing it to its mature actualization.

Other jazz composers have contributed to this form, most recently (and successfully) Wynton Marsalis. For present consideration: trumpeter Irvin Mayfield's third contribution to the Basin Street Records library, the Half Past Autumn Suite. This suite is a collage inspired by the photography of Gordon Parks, who help spearhead the project. The title is derived from an HBO-produced documentary exploring Park's rich art and life. Mayfield composed ten compositions while in the presence of Park's photographs, attempting to capture the pathos and ethos reflected in each. Mayfield, who is best known as part of Basin Street's Los Hombres Calientes, breaks Latin ranks to produce a sumptuous musical entrée.

For the festivities, Mayfield leads a talented sextet, augmented on one piece each by Wynton Marsalis and Parks himself on piano. As a whole, the suite hangs together beneath and introspective and impressionistic canopy. At times lush and at times jagged, the music is humid and potent like the streets of the French Quarter after a late summer rain. The two most compelling pieces are those where the special guests appear. "Blue Dawn" has Marsalis and Mayfield playing a simple blues line, a spiritual descendent of "West End Blues." The improvisation is thoroughly modern as heard through a post-Coltrane prism. The second is a moody tone poem performed as a duet between Parks (on piano) and Mayfield. "Wind Song" sounds very nocturnal, as if Chopin were Debussy 50 years before. It makes for great drama at the close of the disc and an interesting ending to the whole.

Visit Basin Street Records .

Track Listing: Moonscape; Love Petals; Evening; Jazz Poetry #2; Flowerscape; Fatimah; Jazz Poetry #1; Blue Dawn; Wind Song; Toward Infinity. (Total Time 61:19).

Personnel: Irvin Mayfield--Trumpet; Jaz Sawyer--Drums; Richard Johnson--Piano; Aaron Fletcher--Alto And Soprano Saxophones; Edwin Livingston--Bass; Marcus Strickland--Tenor Saxophone; Delfeayo Marsalis--Trombone; Gordon Parks--Piano; Wynton Marsalis--Trumpet.

Title: Half Past Autumn Suite | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Basin Street Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Float Upstream CD/LP/Track Review Float Upstream
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Extremophile CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Setembro CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read The Source CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Road to Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Lubbock (on everything)" CD/LP/Track Review Lubbock (on everything)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 28, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.