317

Mosaic Select 8: Duke Pearson

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
During Pearson's final period of recording activity for Blue Note his creative muse was dipping heavily into Latin and Brazilian strains that brought a whole new level of lyricism to his composing.
Duke Pearson
Mosaic Select 8
Mosaic Records

In recent years artists such as Mike LeDonne and Jim Rotondi have brought to light the overwhelming lyrical gifts of composer Duke Pearson in their own recordings of some of his most memorable lines. Unfortunately, too much of Pearson's work lies just under the radar of your average jazz follower, a fact made all the more frustrating by circumstances that find very little of his catalog presently available on compact disc. While more bop-inflected albums like The Right Touch and Wahoo! get the nod by those in the know, a recent Mosaic Select set goes for an entirely different approach in mining Pearson's final period of recording activity for Blue Note when his creative muse was dipping heavily into Latin and Brazilian strains that brought a whole new level of lyricism to his composing.

One of his rarest sides, The Phantom kicks off this collection with a 1968 session that has yielded many popular hip hop samples. The title track actually serves as a teaser, with its boogaloo groove and Bobby Hutcherson's expansive solo. But then the more delicate side of Pearson's personality makes its mark with such breezy numbers as "Bunda Amerela" and "Los Ojos Alegres." Jerry Dodgion's flute work is a strong contribution to the proceedings and the entire album boasts a sunny disposition, not to mention another Pearson ballad gem in the guise of "Say You're Mine."

Things get tricky from a discographical standpoint over the course of the second disc and the remainder of the first. With tracks that were originally spread over the albums I Don't Care Who Knows It , It Could Only Happen With You , and How Insensitive , Pearson dips heavily into the Brazilian bag while bringing in such authentic supporting players as Airto, Flora Purim, Dorio Ferrreira, Hermeto Pascoal, and Bebeto. The material includes some of the pianist's own numbers but also staples of the genre such as "Upa Neguinho," "Canto Assanha," and "Gira, Girou." Purim sounds great and even brings home the unlikely choice of the Classics IV's "Stormy" with zeal and conviction. A personal favorite is Andy Bey's preaching on the obscure blues line "I Don't Care Who Knows."

Somewhat of a mixed bag in its own right, Pearson's 1969 set How Insensitive includes several cuts in the Brazilian vein cut in the company of Airto and Flora Purim, but the other half of the album is something altogether quite different. With just a standard rhythm section, Pearson swings through some short numbers in the vocal style he popularized on albums such as Donald Byrd's A New Perspective. Andy Bey and The New York Group Singers' Big Band vocalize to the strains of "Stella By Starlight" and a return of "Cristo Redentor" among several other ditties. While many of these numbers have not dated well, it's still interesting to hear Pearson stretch himself with this ensemble format.

This set concludes with one of the best and previously hardest to find jazz Christmas albums, Pearson's Merry Ole Soul. On this 1969 collection of standard yuletide fare Duke and his piano trio takes a few choice liberties and stirs up a good deal of fun along the way. Their "Sleigh Ride" actually goes 'south of the border' with Airto adding sunny splashes of percussive color to boot. It's a fitting conclusion to a neglected chapter of Pearson's Blue Note legacy and one that holds infinite rewards.

Track listing:

DISC ONE
1. The Phantom (A) 10:18 2. Blues For Alvina (A) 3:08 3. Bunda Amerela (Little Yellow Streetcar (A) 5:44 4. Los Ojos Alegres (A) 6:15 5. Say You're Mine (A) 5:36 6. The Moana Surf (A) 7:24 7. Theme From Rosemany's Baby (A) 3:16 8. I Don't Know (B) 7:00 9. Captain Bicardi (B) 5:40 10. Dialogo (B) 3:34 11. Xibaba (C) 6:32 12. Once I Loved (O Amor En Paz) (C) 5:22

DISC TWO
1. Gira, Girou (Round And Round) (D) 7:19 2. Hermeto (D) 5:40 3. Lost In The Stars (D) 3:28 4. It Could Only Happen With You (D) 3:26 5. Stormy (D) 3:26 6. Book's Bossa (D) 6:37 7. Emily (E) 3:59 8. Bloos (E) 7:38 9. I Don't Care Who Knows It (E) 3:10 10. A Beautiful Friendship (E) 6:37 11. Horn In (E) 5:51 12. Canto Ossanha (E) 6:36 13. Sandalia Dela (F) 3:25 14. Tears (F) 3:25 15. Lamento (F) 2:50 16. Upa Neguinho (F) 1:57

DISC THREE
1. Stella By Starlight (G) 4:39 2. Clara (G) 2:43 3. Give Me Some Love (G) 3:24 4. Christo Redentor (G) 3:53 5. Little Song (G) 2:53 6. My Love Waits (O Meu Amor Espera) (G) 4:34 7. How Insensitive (Insensalez) (G) 2:13 8. Sleigh Ride (H) 6:30 9. Little Drummer Boy (H) 5:40 10. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (H) 2:00 11. Jingle Bells (H) 5:09 12. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (H) 4:05 13. Go Tell It To The Mountain (H) 3:42 14. Wassail Song (H) 3:00 15. Silent Night (H) 4:13 16. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (H) 1:15 17. Old Fashioned Christmas (H) 2:26

Personnel: Duke Pearson (composer & piano) with Jerry Dodgion ,Bobby Hutcherson, Airto, Flora Purim, Ralph Towner, Hermeto Pascoal, Andy Bey, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker, and many others.

Track Listing: DISC ONE 1. The Phantom (A) 10:18 2. Blues For Alvina (A) 3:08 3. Bunda Amerela (Little Yellow Streetcar (A) 5:44 4. Los Ojos Alegres (A) 6:15 5. Say You're Mine (A) 5:36 6. The Moana Surf (A) 7:24 7. Theme From Rosemany's Baby (A) 3:16 8. I Don't Know (B) 7:00 9. Captain Bicardi (B) 5:40 10. Dialogo (B) 3:34 11. Xibaba (C) 6:32 12. Once I Loved (O Amor En Paz) (C) 5:22 DISC TWO 1. Gira, Girou (Round And Round) (D) 7:19 2. Hermeto (D) 5:40 3. Lost In The Stars (D) 3:28 4. It Could Only Happen With You (D) 3:26 5. Stormy (D) 3:26 6. Book's Bossa (D) 6:37 7. Emily (E) 3:59 8. Bloos (E) 7:38 9. I Don't Care Who Knows It (E) 3:10 10. A Beautiful Friendship (E) 6:37 11. Horn In (E) 5:51 12. Canto Ossanha (E) 6:36 13. Sandalia Dela (F) 3:25 14. Tears (F) 3:25 15. Lamento (F) 2:50 16. Upa Neguinho (F) 1:57 DISC THREE 1. Stella By Starlight (G) 4:39 2. Clara (G) 2:43 3. Give Me Some Love (G) 3:24 4. Christo Redentor (G) 3:53 5. Little Song (G) 2:53 6. My Love Waits (O Meu Amor Espera) (G) 4:34 7. How Insensitive (Insensalez) (G) 2:13 8. Sleigh Ride (H) 6:30 9. Little Drummer Boy (H) 5:40 10. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (H) 2:00 11. Jingle Bells (H) 5:09 12. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (H) 4:05 13. Go Tell It To The Mountain (H) 3:42 14. Wassail Song (H) 3:00 15. Silent Night (H) 4:13 16. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (H) 1:15 17. Old Fashioned Christmas (H) 2:26

Personnel: Duke Pearson (composer & piano) with Jerry Dodgion ,Bobby Hutcherson, Airto, Flora Purim, Ralph Towner, Hermeto Pascoal, Andy Bey, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker, and many others.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Mosaic Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Procol Harum: Novum Extended Analysis Procol Harum: Novum
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2017
Read Allan Holdsworth: The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever! Extended Analysis Allan Holdsworth: The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!
by John Kelman
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 Extended Analysis Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 9, 2017
Read Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band Extended Analysis Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 3, 2017
Read The Doors' 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis The Doors' 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read Phish: St. Louis '93 Extended Analysis Phish: St. Louis '93
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Nat Birchall: Creation" Extended Analysis Nat Birchall: Creation
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon" Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess" Extended Analysis Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin...
by John Kelman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "FAT: (Living the Dream)" Extended Analysis FAT: (Living the Dream)
by John Kelman
Published: May 18, 2016
Read "Holger Czukay: Movie!" Extended Analysis Holger Czukay: Movie!
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Jack Bruce: Things We Like" Extended Analysis Jack Bruce: Things We Like
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!