All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

353

Bruce Williamson Quartet feat Art Lande: Standard Transmission

By

Sign in to view read count
Woodwind multi-instrumentalist Bruce Williamson features his longtime compatriot and mentor, pianist Art Lande, in this collection of mostly standards, breathing new life into old melodies. Except for "Large Barge," a Williamson original tune reflecting his impressions of a lazy barge on the Ohio River, this quartet outing contains only material that will be well-known to seasoned jazz listeners. But these Williamson/Lande arrangements, each contributing roughly half, produce results far beyond standard. Reharmonization, uncommon time signatures, and unlikely combinations and treatment of songs are the standard for Standard Transmission.

The opener, "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," cycles between jazz waltz and 4/4 swing, setting the stage for unexpected surprises on the stellar staples that follow. "Nature Boy" gets a slow, dreamy treatment in 5/4 time, while "Just You, Just Me" is a series of duets between the players in the quartet.

Bassist Peter Barshay and drummer Alan Hall provide a tasty and tight team for rhythm support, playing together often, both with Lande and other musicians. They gel as a unit, understanding the minimum level of support Lande and Williamson expect. Williamson says that he has played together with Lande for 35 years, but the two have never made a standards album until now, providing the opportunity for something different. Not requiring much rehearsal, but yielding obvious spontaneity and extraordinary interchange, Standard Transmission feels like a live jam session rather than a reading of complex arrangements.

Two selections combine tunes seldom joined: "Steps to a Woven Dream" pairs "You Stepped Out of a Dream" with "Weaver of Dreams"; "Mysterious Moon," on the other hand, couples Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso" with "How High the Moon," but played simultaneously and with a surprise ending.

Significant reharmonization and an altered melody suits the quartet's reading of "All of Me." Also included are: Joe Henderson's "Mamacita"; "Don't Blame Me," featuring countermelodies by Williamson, and Lande, on melodica; "Sweet and Lovely," with its time rotating between 3/4 and 4/4; and "The Touch of Your Lips," with Williamson on flute.

Throughout, Williamson displays his command of alto sax, soprano sax, flute and bass clarinet. Standards? This album sets new standards. Standard Transmission? More like overdrive. Give us more.

Track Listing:

Personnel: Bruce Williamson: alto and soprano saxophones, flute, bass clarinet; Art Lande: piano, melodica; Peter Barshay: bass; Alan Hall: drums.

Title: Standard Transmission | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Originals For the Originals" CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "The Brightest Minute" CD/LP/Track Review The Brightest Minute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Crossing Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Crossing Borders
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "The Arrangement" CD/LP/Track Review The Arrangement
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 11, 2017