Maybe it should be a law that every vibraphonist is required to cover Bobby Hutcherson's "Little B's Poem." Okay, perhaps we don't need such a law, but as with pianists covering compositions by Thelonious Monk, a requirement like this would enable us to get the measure of the musician. Here Roger Beaujolais, on his 19th studio album Sarasota Sunsets, sets his sights on the Hutcherson classic. He is joined by pianist Robin Aspland, bassist Simon Thorpe, and drummer Winston Clifford.
If that were so, Beaujolais would pass the test with flying colors. Given the sophisticated insistence of the melody, Beaujolais navigates the sound with the same California cool as the original. Harmonizing his sound with Aspland's keyboard, the brief but steady solo by Thorpe seals the deal. Beaujolais maintains the hip insouciance that Bobby Hutcherson was known for. The Italians call that sprezzatura, a studied carelessness as the arrow splits the center of the target.
Unlucky For Some; Benign Tonight; And When You Smile; I Love You; In The Meantime; Little B's Poem; Round The Houses; Sunset; Yesterdays.
Roger Beaujolais: vibraphone; Robin Aspland: piano; Simon Thorpe: double bass; Winston Clifford: drums.
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