Music for Guitar: Ken Hatfield & Bill McCormick


Sign in to view read count
Ken Hatfield

The Surrealist Table

Arthur Circle Music

Ken Hatfield is among the few jazz guitarists who ply their trade via the nylon string acoustic guitar. His latest release, The Surrealist Table , is an allusive collection of original compositions that showcases his proficiency both at writing interesting material and applying a somewhat unconventional instrument to the jazz idiom.

The disc's opener, 'The Chimera', turns the standard jazz tune construction around a bit. Bassist Hans Glawischnig takes a frenetic pizzicato solo after the statement of the theme, then Hatfield trades fours with drummer Jeff Hirshfield, after which Hatfield takes his own nimble solo, building a foundation with his single-note lines. Hirshfield's tender brushes highlight the Brazilian-influenced waltz 'A Demain'. Hatfield's solo is fluid and Glawischnig takes another strong plucked turn. 'Mixed Motion' is as varied as its title implies, Monkish in conception and execution, with Hatfield happily skipping along the chord changes. The title track, inspired by a Giacometti drawing, is a mischievous jaunt. Hatfield's tight embroidery and Glawischnig's bowed solo complement each other while Hirshfield brushes the canvas in the background.

The tune that defines the spirit of the entire work, though, is 'Berceuse', a balanced, seamless blend of classical and jazz brimming with influences from Carlos Montoya to Charlie Byrd. Hatfield opens with a moody intro and Glawischnig follows with a mournful but lovely arco solo, with Hirshfield providing highlights on the cymbals. The humorously titled 'Funkissimo' closes things out, with the trio laying down a groove that is a mixture of funk, ragtime and Dixieland.

Personnel: Ken Hatfield, guitar; Hans Glawischnig, bass; Jeff Hirshfield, drums.

Track Listing: 1. The Chimera, 2. ' Demain, 3. Iphigeneia, 4. Mixed Motion, 5. The Surrealist Table, 6. Castalia, 7. Berceuse, 8. Most Every Day, 9. Ariadne's Thread, 10. Funkissimo

Visit Ken Hatfield on the web at www.kenhatfield.com .

Bill McCormick

Music for Guitar


Hatfield is among the four guitarists, and percussionist, assembled by composer Bill McCormick for his new disc Music For Guitar , a selection of pieces culled from his substantial portfolio. The songs are like a collection of snapshots (one of them, 'Accompaniment Study - Suspended Fourths', clocks in at a laconic 41 seconds), and while they're short, they're also quite effective.

'Night Dream/Summer/Into Trees' is played with tender contemplation by Craig Wagner. 'The Nights Get So Cool Here', a languid slice of Brazil, is breezily interpreted by Hatfield and features outstanding percussion by Steven Kroon. Jon Damian applies the proper humor to 'I Play Rhythm', McCormick's riff on Gershwin's 'I Got Rhythm', while Pete Smith expands on the same rhythmic theme with his bouncy 'Riff Major/Riff Minor'.

Wagner plays 'Blues 2050' with moody lyricism and touches it up with flamenco elements. 'The Seacost Drive' is another South American excursion rendered wonderfully by Hatfield and Kroon, especially the evocation of waves against the shore. Wagner plays with samba soul on another Latin standout, 'Majestic World', which features more outstanding variegated percussion by Kroon. Wagner also goes down to the Delta on 'A Church Named the Blues', a piece evoking the rhythm of going to services on Sunday morn. The conciseness with which McCormick writes challenges the players to state their cases quickly and clearly, and this fine disc is proof of their eloquence.

Personnel: Jon Damian, Ken Hatfield, Pete Smith and Craig Wagner.

Track Listing: 1. Night Dream/Summer/Into Trees, 2. The Nights Get So Cool Here, 3. I Play Rhythm, 4. Riff Major/Riff Minor, 5. Accompaniment Study-Suspended Fourths, 6. Blues 2050, 7. The Seacoast Drive, 8. Reflection #7, 9. Reflection #1, 10. Reflection #2, 11. A Church Named The Blues, 12. Majestic World, 13. Reflection #8 (We'll be Pulling into Town Around 3 a.m.)

Listen to sound samples of Music for Guitar at CD Baby .


More Articles

Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read Pi Recordings 2016 Releases Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 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!

Buy it!