151

Rick Stone: Samba de Novembro

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Rick Stone: Samba de Novembro With so many guitarists out there mining the Jim Hall approach, it becomes challenging to find distinctive voices. Guitarist Rick Stone is certainly one to watch, but while establishing credibility on the New York scene he records infrequently, making it difficult to gain a foothold in the minds and ears of the listening public. Even more curious is the fact that his new release, Samba de Novembro , was recorded nearly four years ago and is only now seeing the light of day. It's a shame, because Stone is a player who does manage a personal style that is greater than the sum of its parts, someone who clearly looks back with reverence yet manages to feel contemporary, in a mainstream sort of way.

Stone's playing combines the economy of Hall with some of the soul of Wes Montgomery, a little of Pat Metheny's lyricism and a deeper, darker-hued tone that brings to mind Pat Martino but with an approach that is more sparing. The result of this blend is an all-encompassing sound that is still fully cognizant of the value of the spaces between the notes. His conception is mature and well-developed, bringing new meaning to well-heeled standards like "My Romance," where he starts with a solo that implies much without being an overstatement, before bassist Yosuke Inoue and drummer Matt Wilson enter for a treatment that swings lightly while Stone reiterates the theme in a way that highlights an uncanny ability to play almost contrapuntally.

While the majority of Samba de Novembro is a quartet date featuring Inoue, Wilson and pianist Tardo Hammer, Stone also appreciates the value of contrast. Kenny Werner's "Autumn in Three" is an empathic duet between Stone and Hammer, recalling Bill Evans' collaborations with Jim Hall. Thelonious Monk's "Played Twice" is a fun quartet romp that features a robust solo from Inoue, and some clever cross-pollination of other Monk phrases by Stone.

But as tasteful as Stone and the quartet treat standard material, the real meat of the programme comes with Stone's five originals. Each track dabbles with a convention—the title track, obviously, with the samba form, "Duck, Duck Blues" a minor blues that is surrounded by a more adventurous thematic figure, and "Blues Enough" a relaxed and swinging blues with a fleet-fingered head—but they all contain memorable melodies and variations that make them stand out as unique compositions. "Rain Forest" is richly lyrical yet with a set of changes that would challenge any player. And the closer, "In Loving Memory," is a poignant piece, another duet with Hammer that is steeped in reverence for things long past.

Spending more time as an educator and recording studio owner, Stone is an artist who, with a clear and consistent musical vision that pays homage without losing site of individuality, really ought to record more. He clearly deserves broader recognition, but is, sadly, less likely to achieve it unless he is more aggressive at getting his name out there more often.


Track Listing: Samba de Novembro; My Romance; Rain Forest; Duck, Duck Blues; Autumn in Three; Careless Love; Song for Helen; Played Twice; I Can't Get Started; West Side Waltz; Blues Enough; In Loving Memory

Personnel: Rick Stone (guitar), Tardo Hammer (piano), Yosuke Inoue (bass), Matt Wilson (drums)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Jazzand | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Still, Up In The Air" CD/LP/Track Review Still, Up In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Intersection" CD/LP/Track Review Intersection
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 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!