All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

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...

107

Scott Lee: Leaving

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
One word album titles often invite a lot questions about intent and direction. What exactly is bassist Scott Lee leaving behind? The answer is: nothing, and a little bit of everything at the same time. Lee is no newcomer on the scene and, for the past decade, he and his musical cohorts have been working out ideas on how to expand improvisational possibilities. While some people find it challenging enough to improvise over a given form, this quartet makes it their mission to do so with ease, while also improvising the form itself.

This type of concept only bears fruit in the hands of people who've spent time working these ideas out together and Lee's band mates here—pianist Gary Versace, reed man Billy Drewes and drummer Jeff Hirshfield—are simpatico, to say the least. While this highbrow concept might sound like an over-intellectualized approach to music, these performances have a heart that says otherwise. Although freer sections of music come into play on the album, melodic sensibilities still remain, usually via Drewes' delightful lines. He's soothing on his tenor during "Taxed," and moves from sprite-like staccato soprano statements at the outset of "Two Way," to snake-charmer phrases and seagull swoops, before the tune is done. Additional Drewes highlights include a spiritual-turned-sunny soprano turn on a bass-and-drums duo—appropriately called "Old Friend Talking"—and his warm, inviting clarinet work on the absorbing title track.

Lee uses everything from plinking harmonics to deep-toned arco work during "Old Friends Talking," though his bow work at other points on the album ("Musing") momentarily mimics a cello, before returning to the land of the low. "Drummersome" features some stellar bass solo work over a swinging beat, later converting to a different and darker groove religion when Versace makes his presence felt. Aural disarray ensues, and Drewes brings everything back to a solid state—though it doesn't remain there, and the music continues to decay and rebuild in original fashion. <> Versace delivers one of his most daring solos on "What's Up," with looping, rippling runs giving way to more angular expressions, while he throws out some fractured phrases during the closing "Shamrock." Leaving might be a departure from certain formal structural comforts, but it also marks an arrival with some fresh musical ideas.

Track Listing: Taxed; Two Ways; Musing; JGB; Old Friends Talking; Choice; The Connection; Leaving; Drummersome; What's Up; Shamrock.

Personnel: Scott Lee: bass; Billy Drewes: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet; Gary Versace: piano; Jeff Hirshfield: drums.

Title: Leaving | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Leaving

Leaving

SteepleChase Records
2010

buy
 

With Ease / Jazzblues

Cathexis Records
1999

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "After Bach" CD/LP/Track Review After Bach
by Doug Collette
Published: April 4, 2018
Read "Stinkin' 3.0" CD/LP/Track Review Stinkin' 3.0
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Doug Collette
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "I Believe In You" CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Gin & Moonlight" CD/LP/Track Review Gin & Moonlight
by James Nadal
Published: August 26, 2017