Guitarist John Hart adds vibraphonist Joe Locke for this valuable studio quartet date that's focused primarily on standards, but with a fresh look.
They transform "Lazy Afternoon from a subtle ballad into a snappy mid-tempo post bop vehicle, with lively soloing by the two players. Bassist Bill Moring's sinewy new bass line and a change to a minor key slightly alter the character of the timeless ballad "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, while the piece retains its bluesy air. Joni Mitchell's well known "Help Me proves to be a suitable jazz vehicle, though the setting isn't significantly different from the original. "Alone Together, a favorite of many guitarists, is revamped with Hart's enticing Afro-Cuban arrangement.
While most musicians tend to play Monk's "Well You Needn't at a brisk tempo (which Hart also chooses), the group (minus Locke) takes it far from its roots in the explosive treatment here. The leader's stunning solo interpretation of "The Night We Called It a Day is a lyrical masterpiece. His two originals, the breezy Latin-ish "The E Tune and lively modal blues "Green Acres, reveal new facets with each spin.
Track Listing: Lazy Afternoon; The E Tune; Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans; Green Acres; The NIght We Called It a Day; Help Me; All or Nothing at All; Alone Together; My Shining Hour; Well, You Needn't.
Personnel: John Hart: electric guitar; Joe Locke: vibes; Bill Moring: bass; Tim Horner: drums.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.