206

John Stetch: Heavens of a Hundred Days

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist John Stetch enlists tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry, bassist Ben Street, and drummer Jeff Ballard on this contemplative yet stimulating release. Each track is paired in the liner notes with a quotation or reference that served as Stetch's inspiration. These diverse influences range from Rilke, Kandinsky, and singer/songwriter Mike Rud to political theorist Benjamin Barber. Stetch's intellectual nature comes across in the music without being stultifying or overly serious, making this an album of exceptional candor and expressiveness.

"Heavens of a Hundred Days," an opening ballad that takes its title from a line in a Rilke poem, features a soft-toned McHenry floating on a lush harmonic cloud. Far and away the album's best track, it sounds like something Charles Lloyd might have included on one of his ECM quartet sessions. McHenry also appears on the lively "Rondeau," the free piece "McWorld," and two piano/tenor duets, simply titled "Duet #1" and "Duet #2," which recall the duo selections by Kenny Werner and Joe Lovano on Werner's recent Beauty Secrets. The remainder of the album features Stetch in a trio context, sounding something like a cross between David Berkman and Brad Mehldau. The Eastern-influenced "Urakawa" and the up-tempo, swinging "Point" reveal two very different sides of Stetch's compositional style. And two standards, an inventive, grooving version of "Love for Sale" and a sumptuous "Autumn in New York," demonstrate Stetch's unique take on the tradition. The concluding piece, a solo piano rendition of the title track, delves back into the influence of Rilke, with poetic results.

Track Listing: Heavens of a Hundred Days; Urakawa; Rondeau; Duet #1; Love for Sale; Autumn in New York; Point; Duet #2; McWorld; Heavens of a Hundred Days (solo).

Personnel: John Stetch: piano; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone; Ben Street: bass; Jeff Ballard: drums.

Title: Heavens of a Hundred Days | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Justin Time Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jazz Flute Traditions CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Nerve Dance CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Araminta" CD/LP/Track Review Araminta
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X" CD/LP/Track Review Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Bright Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Moments
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: April 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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