Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

9

Ted Rosenthal Trio: Rhapsody In Gershwin

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The glories of George Gershwin have been well-documented in jazz settings. In fact, many would argue that Gershwin's music has been done to death. So does the world really need another tribute to this iconic tunesmith? In theory, it does not. Supply and demand, and the very nature of saturation, would say that a more-than-sufficient dose of Gershwin has been given to the world, so it's time to move on. However, these principles have never applied to this type of art. When somebody has something valuable to add to the jazz canon, it doesn't matter if they're the first, tenth, hundredth, or thousandth person to essay a specific topic. Good art is good art, and Rhapsody In Gerswhin certainly qualifies under this measure.

For his fifteenth album as a leader, pianist Ted Rosenthal decided to dive into the Gershwin songbook, visiting oft-covered favorites with his trio mates—sensitive-and-swinging drummer Tim Horner and beautifully balanced bassist Martin Wind. Together, they reimagine what this music can be. This trio works at the balance point between expectations and possibilities. It gives Gershwin's melodies, harmonies and rhythms their due, but applies transformative touches to all of them. The seventeen-minute "Rhapsody In Blue" is the perfect example. All of the sweeping sections and elegant melodic strains are there, but transitory nature surrounds this interpretation as the trio swiftly cuts from idea to idea. Shifting roles, styles and ideas enliven this performance of an oh-so-familiar classic.

The seven other songs on the album speak to sophistication and wit. "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" finds Rosenthal playing against and around the rhythm section, brilliantly avoiding the too-cute-by-half trap that so many versions of this song fall into. "Fascinatin' Rhythm" lives up to its name for a change, with quizzical call and response between Rosenthal and Horner, flowing streams of piano beneath Wind's arco melodies, and driving swing episodes. "I Loves You Porgy" is a mellow Bill Evans-ish beauty, "They Can't Take That Away From Me" finds Rosenthal and Wind in fine form, gliding atop the gilded swing of Horner, and Rosenthal's "Strike Up The Band" rewrite is rhythmically striking, moving from understated strolls to fast-and-furious sprints. The album then closes with a slowly drifting "Someone To Watch Over Me" and a lively "Love Walked In."

With Rhapsody In Gerswhin, Rosenthal reminds that single-mindedness in programming does not equate to one dimensional performances. Everything here might bear the trademark of George Gerswhin, but the multi-faceted nature of these performances is all about Rosenthal.

Track Listing: Rhapsody In Blue; Let's Call The Whole Thing Off; Fascinatin' Rhythm; I Loves You Porgy; They Can't Take That Away From Me; Strike Up The Band; Someone To Watch Over Me; Love Walked In.

Personnel: Ted Rosenthal: piano; Martin Wind: bass; Tim Horner: drums.

Title: Rhapsody In Gershwin | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Mobiles Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Mobiles Vol. 1
by James Nadal
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Very Early" CD/LP/Track Review Very Early
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Soul Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Trio
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Reimagined" CD/LP/Track Review Reimagined
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 8, 2017

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!