174

Bennink/Clark/Glerum: Home Safely

Eric J. Iannelli By

Sign in to view read count
Bennink/Clark/Glerum: Home Safely Home Safely is the first release by Favorite Records, a record label formed this year, though the album itself was cut over a decade ago at Amsterdam’s Bimhuis. The trio features Chicago-born pianist Curtis Clark, bandleader for this session and the composer of all twelve tracks found here, as well as two prolific Dutchmen: drummer Han Bennink and bassist Ernst Glerum.

This outstanding disc has the mood and sound of a mainstream jazz release from the late ’50s that has fallen through some cosmic wormhole into the present day. The emphasis of Curtis’ charts is on strong piano-based melody, and there is enough here to last well into the next century, beginning with the lullaby rises and falls of “Home Safely (& Peacefully),” moving on to the colorful Monk-like lines of “Miss T,” continuing with the familiar (albeit twisted) bluesy hook that opens and punctuates “Sean,” and winding up somewhere around the zesty calypso of “Marseille.”

Throughout it all, Clark swings (“Espace Theatral”). He mopes (“Duped”). He shrugs (“Scratched”). He reminisces (“Sophia”). That is to say, he does more than create a certain ambience or dazzle with clever harmonies and chord progressions. He also imitates gesture and action. This, I think, is what gives Home Safely its timeless, universal quality. The technique and tunes may age, but the essentially human aspects of them will not.

Bennink’s drumming—almost all brushes—is first-rate. He gives poetic weight to “Ballad of Jake Spoon” with his evocation of a timepiece and sprinkles “Espace Theatral” and “Marseille,” among others, with subtle fills, rimshots, high hats and spirited cymbal dances. He is assertive and ruthlessly precise—even at his most subdued, as on “Another Blues.” On double bass, Glerum does an excellent job of occupying the limbo between rhythm and harmony. The series of rubbery climbs that conclude his “Spooky Conversations” solo positively make the song. He takes out his bow for the first and only time on the frail, aching album closer, “Letter to South Africa.” What is perhaps most appealing is the way the musicians’ solos are integrated into each song. They don’t stand out. Their intent isn’t to draw attention to themselves; rather it’s to be inconspicuous, to blend in.

No one will be able to argue that Home Safely has marked a sea change in jazz music, but for many listeners it should nevertheless live up to the name of its nascent label. The only lingering question is this: will we have to wait another ten years for the next release from this excellent trio?

Visit Favorite Records , Ernst Glerum and Han Bennink on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Home Safely (& Peacefully) (5:59); 2. Miss T (6:40); 3. Ballad of Jake Spoon (4:33); 4. Espace Theatral (4:15); 5. Another Blues (5:49); 6. Sean (4:17); 7. Sophia (4:44); 8. Duped (4:47); 9. Spooky Conversations (4:21); 10. Scratched (4:29); 11. Marseille (3:41); 12. Letter to South Africa (5:06)

Personnel: Han Bennink, drums; Curtis Clark, piano; Ernst Glerum, bass

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "What was said" CD/LP/Track Review What was said
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "Real Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Real Talk
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Espiritu Zombi" CD/LP/Track Review Espiritu Zombi
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017

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!