All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Rhapsody In Gershwin

Rhapsody In Gershwin

Playscape Recordings
2014

buy
Wonderland

Wonderland

Playscape Recordings
2013

buy
Out Of This World

Out Of This World

Playscape Recordings
2011

buy
Impromptu

Impromptu

Playscape Recordings
2010

buy
My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

Venus Records
2008

buy
The King and I

The King and I

Venus Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Love Stone CD/LP/Track Review
Love Stone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Empty Castles CD/LP/Track Review
Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Myths and Morals CD/LP/Track Review
Myths and Morals
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 22, 2018
Read The Sum Of My Pardon CD/LP/Track Review
The Sum Of My Pardon
by Jim Olin
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Suspended" CD/LP/Track Review Suspended
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 12, 2018
Read "Parting Is" CD/LP/Track Review Parting Is
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "The Wandering Woods" CD/LP/Track Review The Wandering Woods
by Jim Olin
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "Sticks and Stones" CD/LP/Track Review Sticks and Stones
by John Kelman
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Light in the Ring: The Ali Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Light in the Ring: The Ali Suite
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 25, 2017