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
9

Ted Rosenthal Trio: Rhapsody In Gershwin

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Ted Rosenthal Trio: Rhapsody In Gershwin 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.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

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
Bill Evans Bill Evans
piano
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
piano
Cedar Walton Cedar Walton
piano
Joe Zawinul Joe Zawinul
keyboard
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Hal Galper Hal Galper
piano
Bud Powell Bud Powell
piano
Steve Kuhn Steve Kuhn
piano
Mark Turner Mark Turner
sax, tenor
George Duke George Duke
piano
Joe Sample Joe Sample
piano

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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