All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

140

Tardo Hammer: Look Stop & Listen

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
Look Stop & Listen, Tardo Hammer's fourth release as a leader, is subtitled The Music of Tadd Dameron. It's the antithesis of a concept record, in which the music takes a backseat to marketing and promotion. Instead of a parade of guest stars, all Hammer needs is bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth to launch a rigorous, thoughtful, and brilliantly played set. He's the perfect antidote to the legions of jazz pianists who possess tons of technique yet have little of their own to say about the music. Throughout the ten track recital, it's obvious that he's lived with Dameron's compositions for quite some time.



The record is filled with moments demonstrating Hammer's remarkable clarity of thought and smart execution. "If You Could See Me Now moves from a lovely ballad to Hammer's probing, medium tempo improvisation. Something similar happens during "Smooth as the Wind, when a keen, decisive solo follows an elegant take on the theme.



In Hammer's scheme of things, little things mean a lot: subtle changes in dynamics; a left hand that pokes its way into the path of the right and then suddenly lays back; and use of silence, allowing for commentary by the ever-resourceful Farnsworth. The development of Hammer's solos is continuous, logical and orderly, yet a feeling of discovery is always present. Although he never sounds rushed or particularly busy, his brisk solo on "The Squirrel doesn't let up. The neat parameters of his "Our Delight essay sparkle with sheer exuberance.



Webber and Farnsworth are a superb bass and drums team. They listen to Hammer and assert themselves accordingly. Farnsworth is bold and provocative in conventional terms (Max Roach and Billy Higgins are his primary antecedents), and his every stroke is connected to Hammer and Webber. During Hammer's solos on most of the medium and up-tempo tracks, his snare prods the pianist while the ride cymbal locks in tightly to Webber's walking line. Throughout the head of "Hot House, terse accents emerge from every drum and cymbal, while brief acrobatic fills twist and turn before he abruptly cuts them off.


Track Listing: Focus; Look Stop & Listen; Smooth as the Wind; Dial B for Beauty; The Squirrel; Hot House; Super Jet; If You Could See Me Now; Our Delight; Flossie Lou.

Personnel: Tardo Hammer: piano; John Webber: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Title: Look Stop & Listen | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sharp Nine Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Look Stop & Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron

Look Stop & Listen:...

Sharp Nine Records
2008

buy
Look Stop & Listen

Look Stop & Listen

Sharp Nine Records
2007

buy
 

Hammer Time

Sharp Nine Records
1999

buy

Related Articles

Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet CD/LP/Track Review
Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Triad CD/LP/Track Review
Triad
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Sketches of American Music CD/LP/Track Review
Sketches of American Music
by Doug Collette
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Three Pictures CD/LP/Track Review
Three Pictures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read "Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Evergreen" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Home Counties" CD/LP/Track Review Home Counties
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Ma De Re Sha" CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Déjà Vu" CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Ghost Box" CD/LP/Track Review Ghost Box
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 31, 2018