306

Paul Clarvis / Liam Noble: Starry Starry Night

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Clarvis / Liam Noble: Starry Starry Night A charming little beauty, Starry Starry Night is a collection of cover versions of mainly familiar material by drummer Paul Clarvis and pianist Liam Noble, two characterful lights of the British jazz scene. The tunes range from classic standards like Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," the Gershwins' "Embraceable You" and Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag," through to more recent treasures like Gillian Welch's "Dear Someone," Don Maclean's "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)" and Moondog's "Paris."



The album is as intimate and seductive as the source material and instrumentation promise—Clarvis and Noble are respectful of the composers' original intentions, rarely straying far from the top-lines or basic changes—but the duo bring fresh fascination to even the most well-worn item.



Clarvis and Noble met, propitiously, when they both worked in the band put together to accompany composer and multi-instrumentalist Moondog at a London concert in the 1990s. They've since performed and recorded together frequently, and followed singular paths of their own. Clarvis leads the quirky world jazz and folk band Orquestra Mahatma, and has become an in-demand session drummer whose soundtrack credits include numerous big screen blockbusters (among them Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Batman, Billy Elliot and Shakespeare In Love). A master technician who wears his virtuosity lightly, Clarvis is an unusually melodic drummer.



Among his several involvements, Noble, who is equally at home in the lyric songbook tradition and the most uncharted free-improv, performs and records with folkish jazz singer/songwriter Christine Tobin and with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock. With Laubrock he recorded the mainly jazz standards duo album, Let's Call This (Babel, 2006), and the deep and singular Sleepthief (Intakt, 2008). His playing on Starry Starry Night is rhapsodic and vivacious.



Given the nature of the material, it might be expected that much of the interest on the album would derive from Noble's performances. But Clarvis, heard throughout on brushes, holds his own. He transposes the melody and rhythmic emphases of "Embraceable You" to the drum kit to create one of the highlights of the album. Others are Welch's "Dear Someone," an exquisite "last waltz" with a suggestion of menace in the wings; Ellington's "Mood Indigo," which Noble succeeds in making both spectral and lush; and Moondog's infectiously joyous "Paris."



But these are highlights amongst highlights, and Starry Starry Night is a seamless stream of pleasure, the auditory equivalent of tiger balm on a fevered brow.


Track Listing: Mood Indigo; Shadow Of Your Smile; Dear Someone; Maple Leaf Rag; Vincent (Starry Starry Night); Poor Butterfly; Whispering; So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright; Embraceable You; Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans; Paris.

Personnel: Liam Noble: piano; Paul Clarvis: drums.

Title: Starry Starry Night | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Village Life


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)" CD/LP/Track Review Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Journey To The Mountain Of Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Mountain Of Forever
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "We Are The World" CD/LP/Track Review We Are The World
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Tetrawind" CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.