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...

6

Tina Raymond: Left Right Left

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Most jazz artists don't choose to create a concept album as their debut. But drummer Tina Raymond has done just that with Left Right Left, teaming up with pianist Art Lande and bassist Putter Smith for a wide-ranging piano trio outing that explores America's political climate via a mix of patriotic songs, a pair of Woody Guthrie tunes, a Joni Mitchell cover, a pair of outstanding Putter Smith originals, and Joan Baez's gorgeous "Saigon Bride."

Lande and Smith are jazz veterans who have the ability to ride inside or outside. Lande teamed with avant-garde reedman Gebhard Ullmann on Die Blaue Nixe (Between The Lines, 2006). Smith joined the poet drummer Billy Mintz on his Mintz Quartet (Thirteenth Note Records, 2013). These are two recordings that resist labels. The same is true of the sound of Left Right Left. Where Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" gets an injection of jazz sophistication and perhaps an Eastern (Japanese folk music?) tint; the ever familiar "Battle Hymn Of the Republic" begins straight ahead before veering into dissonance and discord; and "America" ("America The Beautiful") has a jauntiness that Lande rolls into an ebullient improvisation.

The compositional voice of Woody Guthrie gets an ethereal, floating treatment, with "Union Maid," vying with Joni Mitchell's "Fiddle And the Drum" and Joan Baez's "Saigon Bride" for the most beautiful tunes on the set. The Mitchell tune sounds like a spontaneous composition—loose and fluid, grey and gloomy in mood, showcasing Raymond's percussive poetics. Bassist/composer Smith's "Xxmas In Baghdad" is a study in spare, egalitarian trio interplay.

Left Right Left is, in it's way, a nod to the progressive movement, the left side of politics. It could accurately be called "The American Suite," with it's mood of somehow enchanting discontent, and its reinterpretations of the beauty of these tunes—a voice against the malevolence and mendacity that have way of surfacing and making loud splashing sounds in the roiling of country's storm-tossed political seas. Sometimes that's the voice that the artists have to use.

Title: Left Right Left | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Orenda Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Evidence - Music of Thelonious Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Evidence - Music of Thelonious Monk
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 27, 2017
Read "Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Jigsaw" CD/LP/Track Review Jigsaw
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2018
Read "Perfectly Unhappy" CD/LP/Track Review Perfectly Unhappy
by John Eyles
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor" CD/LP/Track Review Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor
by Chris May
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Vision Songs Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Vision Songs Vol. 1
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 8, 2018