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...
Despite his relative anonymity, pianist John Blum has been a New York free jazz fixture for more than a decade. In the Shade of the Sun teams him with ubiquitous bassist William Parker and percussion innovator Sunny Murray. Blum and Murray work well together, having established their musical relationship in Murray's trio and on Perles Noires Volume 2 (Eremite, 2005). Parker can create his own place in any mix and does so here as well.
Blum's keyboard technique is something of a free jazz hybrid of McCoy Tyner and Cecil Taylor, decidedly percussive but with relentlessly fast right-hand linear structure. When combined with Murray's complex kit work, it is a wonder that Parker manages to make a statement of his own. The nearly fifteen minute opener is part 1 of the title track, and it finds Blum using the entire keyboard and multiple techniques to create a spectrum of sound that would easily hold up as a solo piece. Murray assimilates without sacrificing a display of his much overlooked skills and Parker subtly ties the dialog together.
The collection's closing is the title track's second part, and is one of those rare spots where things slow down enough to breathe. Parker starts out with the bow and Blum approaches an almost conventional melody. The tranquility shatters less than half way through, however, as Blum attacks the keys with the urgency of an improvised fire drill. He creates a vocabulary of undertones and overtones that are unique from his band mates while never thoughtless of the big picture.
There is no question that, despite his more notable trio members, this is Blum's project. The four tracks lodged between the title pieces are heavily dominated by piano, and each requires a high degree of agility from both Parker and Murray. This is not dinner music, but neither is it inaccessible. Blum is doing something very interesting with lyricism, but more through subterfuge than obvious presentation. In the Shade of the Sun demands attention and is well worth the time.
Track Listing: In the Shade of the Sun, Part 1; First and Last; Misanthrope's Dream; Out of this Nettle; Transmigration; In the Shade of the Sun, Part 2.
Personnel: John Blum: piano; William Parker: bass; Sunny Murray: drums.
I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats Big Noise From Winnetka, which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab
I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats Big Noise From Winnetka, which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab. My late great pa-in-law--the actor Keith Michell--wins the contest hands down however, as he co-starred in the 1962 movie All Night Long rubbing shoulders with Dave Brubeck, Keith Christie, Bert Courtley, John Dankworth, Ray Dempsey, Allan Ganley, Tubby Hayes, Charles Mingus, Barry Morgan, Kenny Napper, Colin Purbrook and John Scott! Wish I could have been a fly on the wall of that soundstage!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!