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John Hébert: Sounds Of Love


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John Hébert: Sounds Of Love
In sport, they talk about 'horses for courses,' to describe a parcour suited for particular athletes. That same language can be used to decide an ensemble's lineup for a particular category of music. Bassist and bandleader John Hébert made careful choices to create the quintet to perform music in the spirit of Charles Mingus. In the early 1960s, Mingus toured with saxophonist Eric Dolphy, trumpeter Johnny Coles, pianist Jaki Byard, and drummer Dannie Richmond. For Hébert's touring ensemble from 2011 to 2013, he convened a cast of somewhat disparate, yet correlative players.

The magic of Sounds Of Love is Hébert's amalgam. He draws on his long-standing collaboration with pianist Fred Hersch, plus drummer Ches Smith and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum both of whom he plays with in guitarist Mary Halvorson's various ensembles. The finishing touch was adding Tim Berne who tailors his saxophone voice most agreeably to both John Hébert's and Mingus' vision.

The music includes two covers, the luscious "Duke Ellington's Sounds of Love" which opens with Hébert's expressive bass and the raucous "Remember Rockefeller at Attica" with its booming swing and dark humor. Hébert's arrangements and choice of players eschew imitations, yet honor Mingus' spirit. "Love What" acknowledges Mingus' "What Love," which itself was based on Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?" Like taffy, the music is pulled and folded together by way of Berne's mad science solo and Hersch's keyboard dash, creating a transmuted amalgam. The same is true of "Frivolocity," which is modeled after "Sue's Changes." The simple becomes complex, and the complex simple.

Track Listing

Constrictor; The Blank-Faced Man; Duke Ellington’s Sounds of Love; Love What?; Remember Rockefeller at Attica; Frivolocity.


Album information

Title: Sounds Of Love | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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