Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers 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!

3

Steve Heckman & Matt Clark: Some Other Time/Slow Café

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Back in the summer of 2004, saxophonist Steve Heckman and pianist Matt Clark took to the studio to lay down some duo tracks. Those recordings have now finally found their way into the world through Some Other Time/Slow Café, an album presenting a dozen pieces that speak with casual and reflective charm while highlighting the rapport that these two men have with one another.

The straightforward sensibility of this pair is front and center across this entire program. There's a beautifully centrist quality to the music, ever-present in the unwrapping of familiar heads, the presentation of exploratory statements placed in the foreground, and the volleying of short(er) solos. In an age when the too-clever-by-half types often do standards a disservice through radical and aggressive design modifications, it's refreshing to hear many of these songs in relatively true-to-form states.

The known numbers that pop up along the way here are treated with due respect, but they never show their age; Heckman and Clark find a happy medium in these pursuits, honoring the strengths of form and melody while leaving no layers of dust anywhere. Thelonious Monk's lone waltz ("Ugly Beauty") takes on a streamlined quality and ends with a tweak. Tones of wistful beauty ("Some Other Time") pair nicely with rollicking contrast ("Get Happy"), and two numbers from the underappreciated Duke Pearson ("Jeannine" and "Is That So?") provide bright light. A haunting Jimmy Rowles classic ("The Peacocks") may be the tune that moves furthest afield, yet it still maintains the necessary ties to home. It's simply seen through a different lens with the loosening of time and the addition of a free prologue.

In terms of original material, we're given a seemingly abbreviated waltz from Clark's pen ("Foregone Conclusion") and three Heckman originals—an altered blues nodding to the great Lee Konitz ("Admiring-Lee"), a somewhat frolicsome flute feature ("Sheila's Sunday Song"), and an uplifting send-off ("Slow Café"). Spread out across the program, all four sit comfortably next to their more high-profile neighbors.

Whether presenting their own tunes or upholding and extending the work of others, Heckman and Clark manage to put their collective best foot forward here. The ease of expression projected by this music proves to be its greatest draw.

Track Listing: Admiring-Lee; Ugly Beauty; Some Other Time; Get Happy; Foregone Conclusions; Jeannine; Theme For Ernie; I Should Care; Sheila's Sunday Song; Is That So? The Peacocks; Slow Café.

Personnel: Steve Heckman: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone (5, 11), flute (9); Matt Clark: piano.

Title: Some Other Time/Slow Café | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: World City Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Live at the Blue Whale" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Blue Whale
by Phillip Woolever
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Can't Get Started" CD/LP/Track Review Can't Get Started
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Tyrant Lizard" CD/LP/Track Review Tyrant Lizard
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "City Of Light" CD/LP/Track Review City Of Light
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017