Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

129

The Jacques Loussier Trio: Handel

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count

The finest in Jazz interpretation of the Classical Canon...

Classical music adapted to the jazz medium is nothing new. Pianist Uri Caine spent much of the past four years doing so with the music of Wagner, Schumann, Bach, and Mahler . Currently, the Classical Jazz Quartet (comprised of Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Stefon Harris, and Lewis Nash) has released two recordings interpreting classical pieces, The Classical Jazz Quartet Plays Bach and The Nutcracker . But long before all of these, there was Jacques Loussier. M. Loussier released a collection of Bach interpretations with his Plays Bach Trio in the late 1950s to a considerable amount of crossover excitement. After selling several million copies of their Bach recordings, the band broke up.

Then, in 1985, the 300th anniversary of Bach’s birth, M. Loussier reformed his famous trio with two new members and returned to addressing the classics in a jazzy vein. In the past 15 years, Loussier has addressed French Impressionists ( Ravel: Bolero —Telarc Jazz 83466, 1999 and The Music of Debussy —Telarc Jazz 83511, 2000), Vivaldi ( The Four Seasons —Telarc Jazz 83417, 1997), and Eric Satie ( Gymnopédies Gnossiennes —Telarc Jazz 34312, 1999). The Classical Jazz Master now turns his attention to Handel, that Anglicized German of Bel Canto fame. For his object, Loussier safely chooses Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, aside from Messiah, Handel’s most popular compositions.

Loussier’s treatment is professional and reverent within the auspices of jazz. This is a most entertaining disc even without knowledge of the original music. Loussier manages to fold into one another, Bach (and Handel) counterpoint, Dave Brubeck Rondo sensibilities, Paul Desmond coolness, a bit of the Islands and a Holiday spring. I don’t believe I heard one dropped note on the entire recording. The craftsmanship is superb, by Loussier and his most able rhythm section, which together for the most cohesive trio unit I have heard since seeing Fred Hersch for the first time. One not need be a classical music or jazz buff to enjoy these finely conceived interpretations. Merci!


Track Listing: Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks; Passacaglia (Total Time: 76:27).

Personnel: Jacques Loussier

Title: Handel | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Telarc Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Ha Noi Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon" CD/LP/Track Review Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Where the Blue Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Where the Blue Begins
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Sanctified" CD/LP/Track Review Sanctified
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Migration Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by John Sharpe
Published: March 18, 2017