112

Scott Lee: Leaving

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Lee: Leaving Maybe te annual jazz awards need to add a new category for musicians like Scott Lee. It could be titled "master musicians deserving of wider recognition." The veteran bassist has been on the New York scene since the 1970s, and a member of numerous bands including those led by titans Chet Baker, Joe Lovano, and, Kenny Werner. He has also been a sympathetic contributor to the careers of Loren Stillman and Andrew Rathbun. With Leaving, his followup to One Thought (SteepleChase, 2008), he dispatches a recording that blurs the lines between the compositions written and improvised.

It would be easy to identify most of the tracks here as comprehensively composed music. The improvisation is that good—or maybe its' simply a near-perfect match of sympathetic players. Lee has been working with drummer Jeff Hirshfield and saxophonist Billy Drewes for over thirty years, and pianist Gary Versace has been part of that conversation for the past eight. Versace seems to fit in nicely with any ensemble, from the large orchestras of Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck, to Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts, and duos with Lee Konitz.

The communication and cooperation is evident from note one. Lee writes homelike pieces that the players stretch and invigorate. The opening "Taxed" begins with an orderly melody, with Drewes's tenor coming from the Jan Garbarek school—full of long lush tones. Drewes is also a skilled soprano technician, his escalating sound soaring over several tracks including the hesitant "JGB" and "Two Ways," the latter possessing an insistent theme over which Steve Lacy would have felt comfortable working. Drewes and Versace are simply dancing here to the radiant melody.

As a leader, Lee rarely steps out for recognition. His bow speaks measures on the overtly simple "Musing," where Versace and the bassist converse, while he picks/plucks his way through a slippery duo with Hirshfield on "The Connection." The pair prefers time to be liquid—morphing into varying shades and textures that are best illustrated on "Drummersome," where Hirshfield changes time signatures throughout, his partners left to react, act, and swing like hell.

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

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Left Right Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "And the Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review And the Rhythm Serenaders
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Still Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Still Motion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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