Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
208

Mike Melvoin Presents Dan Jaffe: Playing The Word

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Melvoin Presents Dan Jaffe: Playing The Word A quick trip to Borders finds rows and rows of books about jazz history, biography and discography in the music section. Most of them will certainly help you fall asleep late at night. Give me the oral history of our music: the stories, the myths and the lies.

Jazz is about the beat, and really nothing but the beat. Jack Kerouac knew this, so did Kenneth Patchen and Tom Waits. You know a jazzman when you meet him. It's in his walk and the cadence of his breaths.

All of the essence of hip is captured quite nicely on this duo recording by poet Dan Jaffe and pianist Mike Melvoin. Melvoin is a veteran pianist with a performance history that includes Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Peggy Lee and Bobby Watson. Jaffe has authored a dozen books and a jazz opera.

Jaffe and Melvoin chose the jazz that swung Kansas City and morphed into bebop—the cufflinks of Bird and the bandstands of local favorites, where lives passed one saloon to the next. Fans of poetry find both great prose and, better yet, a storyteller's delivery. Jaffe's voice invites you into his inner circle, his club. By the end you're pals, and you devour every story. There's Bird and Mingus, but more importantly, the unknown keepers of the jazz flame.

The music is flawlessly intertwined with the words. Mike Melvoin weaves blues and jazz into the stories. Together, the pair recreate a place in mind that seems now to have been suspended in time. Quite a beautiful session.


Track Listing: All Cats Turn Gray When The Sun Goes Down; Over On Main; Turning The Town; Walking With Mingus; Remembering Frank Smith; After Hours; Notes From The Williamsburg; Starting With Langston; Blowing; Bird Talk; High Flyers; It Sure Is Risky And Afterwords; Bass Talk; Who Knows Where The Blues Was Born?; Cajon/Gojazz; All Cats Turn Gray When The Sun Goes Down.

Personnel: Dan Jaffe: spoken word; Mike Melvoin: piano.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: City Light Entertainment | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Playing The Word
Playing The Word
City Light Entertainment
2006
buy
You Know
You Know
City Light Entertainment
2006
buy
It's Always You
It's Always You
City Light Entertainment
2003
buy
Oh Baby
Oh Baby
City Light Entertainment
2003
buy
[no cover]
The Capitol Sessions
Love Records
2000
buy
[no cover]
Redeye
Love Records
1979
buy
Hank Jones Hank Jones
piano
Marcus Printup Marcus Printup
trumpet
Red Garland Red Garland
piano
Jackie McLean Jackie McLean
sax, alto
Bob Mintzer Bob Mintzer
saxophone
Frank Rosolino Frank Rosolino
trombone
Dick Hyman Dick Hyman
piano
Didier Verna Didier Verna
guitar
Rufus Reid Rufus Reid
bass, acoustic
Myron Walden Myron Walden
saxophone

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.