372

Tommy Flanagan: Sunset and the Mockingbird

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
First, a confession. There are a handful of contemporary Jazz pianists I could listen to all night without the least trace of boredom or fatigue. Oscar Peterson, of course. Kenny Barron. Barry Harris. Oliver Jones. Billy Taylor. And Tommy Flanagan — which should give the reader an inkling of how I feel about Tommy’s Blue Note debut, Sunset and the Mocking Bird, recorded on his 67th birthday at New York City’s Village Vanguard. This is a trio session, and what a marvelous trio it is, with Washington and Nash among the most accomplished and empathetic teammates in the business. With no need to worry about the supporting cast (who’ve been reading his mind for more than seven years), Flanagan is free — with their unflagging help — to create wonderful music, which he does throughout this invigorating evening of tasteful and swinging Jazz. As I’ve said before, Nash — who plays with more authority here than in many studio sessions — is one of my favorite small–group drummers (superb with brushes or sticks) while Washington is an industrious timekeeper and inventive soloist who never gives Flanagan even fleeting cause for concern. The varied and interesting program is a strong point, with compositions by Thad Jones (“Birdsong,” “Let’s”), Dizzy Gillespie (“I Waited for You,” “Tin Tin Deo”), Ellington (“Sunset and the Mocking Bird,” from The Queen’s Suite), Tom McIntosh (“With Malice Toward None,” the medley “Balanced Scales/The Cupbearers”) and a lovely closing Mack Gordon/Harry Revel ballad, “Good Night My Love” (followed by an exuberant chorus of “Happy Birthday to You” from the appreciative audience). As he nears 70, Tommy Flanagan, like fine wine, becomes more pleasurable and venerated with each passing day. He plays with warmth, vigor, soul, an unerring sense of rhythm and dynamics, and any other ingredient one could wish for in a Jazz pianist. His five Grammy nominations, Jazzpar award, NEA Jazz Master award and poll–winning history attest to that. In sum, this is an outstanding session by one of the world's foremost craftsmen of the keyboard — with superior sound quality and nearly 70-minute playing time as bonuses.

Track listing: Birdsong; With Malice Toward None; Let’s; I Waited for You; Tin Tin Deo; Sunset and the Mockingbird; The Balanced Scales/The Cupbearers; Good Night My Love (69:44).

Personnel:

Tommy Flanagan, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Lewis Nash, drums

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Impermanence" CD/LP/Track Review Impermanence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "The Big Shake-Up" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Shake-Up
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Mt. Crushmore" CD/LP/Track Review Mt. Crushmore
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "New Birth" CD/LP/Track Review New Birth
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Uptown Down" CD/LP/Track Review Uptown Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "King Of Xhosa" CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!