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...

261

Richard Sussman: Live At Sweet Rhythm

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Life has few certainties, but the constant and ever-moving nature of time is one of them. Events, both miniscule and monumental, pass by and usually leave nothing more than a memory or, in the case of music, a record. Such was the case with pianist Richard Sussman's Free Fall (Inner City Records, 1978). Joined by some burgeoning young talent in 1978, Sussman's album became an underground classic and that seemed to be the end of it. All the players involved in the recording moved on and developed into well-respected jazz veterans, with Sussman moving into touring bands, composing and teaching.

As the years went by, the music began resonating with a lot of people, Sussman included, and the pianist eventually bought the rights to his recording. After some calendar juggling, he was able to nail down everybody from the original project, with the exception of saxophonist Larry Schneider, and they celebrated the album's twenty-fifth anniversary with two nights at New York's Sweet Rhythm. Now, seven years later, this music has made its way to the marketplace as Live At Sweet Rhythm, and the music was well worth the wait.

A few songs from the original album, a couple of new tunes and a pair of standards make up the program, and Sussman generously shares the spotlight with everybody involved. The standards belong to the horn players, with trumpeter Tom Harrell at the center of "What's New," and saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi delivering a stellar take, capped off with a terrific cadenza, on "Soultrane." "Mary's Song," one of the two newer Sussman originals, has an uplifting and sunny theme that's instantly appealing, with drummer Jeff Williams and bassist Mike Richmond providing some slick supporting grooves.

What's so striking about this rhythm section is its ability to bring a certain amount of intensity to the music without the high volume levels that often, needlessly, go with it. "Waiting" and "Tiahuanaco" are prime examples of this quality, and both contain plenty of solo space. The album's closing tracks are its most adventurous: "Lady Of The Lake" begins with a rubato piano introduction—full of mystery, intrigue and impressionistic flourishes—before things finally settle in; "Free Fall" is almost episodic in nature, and offers a lot to like. Williams' loose drum soloing, Harrell's following explorations, Bergonzi's playing over uncertain footing, and Sussman's flurry of notes all add to the magic. Here's hoping three more decades don't have to pass for these musicians to reconvene.

Track Listing: Waiting; Mary's Song; Soultrane; Tiahuanaco; What's New; Lady Of The Lake; Free Fall.

Personnel: Richard Sussman: piano; Tom Harrell: trumpet; Jerry Bergonzi: tenor saxophone; Mike Richmond: bass; Jeff Williams: drums.

Title: Live At Sweet Rhythm | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Spare Change

Spare Change

Richard Sussman
Continuum

Tiahuanaco

Tiahuanaco

Richard Sussman
Live At Sweet Rhythm

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live At Sweet Rhythm

Live At Sweet Rhythm

Origin Records
2010

buy
Free Fall

Free Fall

Double-Time Jazz
2002

buy
 

Tributaries

King Records
1979

buy
Continuum

Continuum

Origin Records
0

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019
Read Perception Album Reviews
Perception
By Paul Rauch
February 20, 2019
Read I Love the Rhythm in a Riff Album Reviews
I Love the Rhythm in a Riff
By Mackenzie Horne
February 20, 2019
Read Head First Album Reviews
Head First
By Roger Farbey
February 20, 2019
Read New American Songbooks, Volume 2 Album Reviews
New American Songbooks, Volume 2
By Karl Ackermann
February 19, 2019
Read Live At JazzCase Album Reviews
Live At JazzCase
By Troy Dostert
February 19, 2019