All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Bailey's Bundles

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Solo Piano – Fred Hersch and Ran Blake

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Hersch
Open Book
Palmetto
2017

Pianist Fred Hersch's 2015 release Solo (Palmetto) and the present Open Book recall Keith Jarrett's deeply introspective The Melody at Night, With You (ECM, 2000) with respect to the two artists having survived significant health crises. While Open Book is not as introspective as the Jarrett release, it is thoughtfully conceived and performed. Hersch takes an impressionistic approach Benny Golson's "Whisper Not" and Jobim's "Zingaro," casting them as aural aphorisms. Hersch follows Jarrett's method of immediate creation on the 20-minute "Through the Forest," where he sits down to the piano with no preconceptions and just plays. It is a lengthy rumination more expressionistic than not. "Plainsong" is a quiet piece played mostly on the left side of the keyboard. Hersch always includes a Thelonious Monk composition, reading "Eronel" like a scattering of expressionistic tealeaves, with Hersch out- Monking Monk. The pianist closes the recital with Billy Joel's "And So It Goes." Open Book is a provocative meditation by an artist who has seen and experienced much.

Ran Blake
Something to Live For
Hat Hut
2017

Okay, Okay! So, I did not read the back of the disc so well. While there is some solo Ran Blake here, he spends most of his time in duet with guitarist David Fabris or Clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio, so while my title is not right, it is not inaccurate. Where Fred Hersch allowed the muse to take him wherever it chose, Ran Blake twisted the wheel, bringing his unique brand of pianism into certain focus in the form of a 19-part suite, partly original compositions and partly standards (and not-so-standards). Blake has several things going on here. First is two disparate takes on the spiritual "Elijah Rock" where he freely explores some impressionistic thoughts that could have come from Claude Debussy while resolving the quiet madness with a churchy "amen" coda. Blake is joined by Gregorio for his properly named, four-part "Enigma Suite," where the two channel Franz Kogelman through the dark lens of Morton Feldman. Juxtaposed against the woody clarinet is David Fabris' Jim Hall-inspired electric guitar, which murmurs, then whispers, and finally announces its presence. Blake solo deconstructs Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisa" with such invention it can make your head swim.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Seven Women 2018 – Part IV Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 – Part IV
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2018
Read Six on Cellar Live Bailey's Bundles
Six on Cellar Live
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Seven woMEN 2018 – Part III Bailey's Bundles
Seven woMEN 2018 – Part III
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 8, 2018
Read Formats – Solo Through Nonet Bailey's Bundles
Formats – Solo Through Nonet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Seven Women 2018 – Part II Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 – Part II
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 10, 2018
Read Seven Women 2018 - Part I Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 - Part I
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "Notable and Nearly Missed 2017" Bailey's Bundles Notable and Nearly Missed 2017
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Six on Cellar Live" Bailey's Bundles Six on Cellar Live
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Seven Women 2018 - Part I" Bailey's Bundles Seven Women 2018 - Part I
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "The Realpolitik of Georg Frederic Handel" Bailey's Bundles The Realpolitik of Georg Frederic Handel
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Seven Women 2018 – Part II" Bailey's Bundles Seven Women 2018 – Part II
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s "Messiah"" Bailey's Bundles Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 2, 2017