All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

158

Ted Rosenthal: The 3 B's

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Lucky for us that jazz is virtually meaningless in the bigger picture of today’s popular entertainment. I say this because if music were like art at the turn of the century, this recording by Ted Rosenthal may have caused fistfights. It’s not that the solo pianist has created a shocking Nude Descending a Staircase as much as he is making music like those old Reeces Cup commercials. “Hey, you got your jazz in my classical.” “No, you stuck your classical in my jazz.”

Rosenthal a former winner (1988) of the Thelonious Monk piano competition is also a very gifted classical music pianist. He chose three B’s for this record, Bud, Bill and Ludwig, err Bud Powell, Bill Evans and Beethoven. The logic of the music selected appears to focus on Bill Evans. He would be the Jeopardy answer to the question: What do you get when you mix bebop with classical music?

Back to the fist fight. Classical fans opine you cannot improvise on the sonatas of Beethoven. Rosenthal does. Jazz aficionados (those of the Monk, Bird, and Bud ilk) cringe at the clarity in which Rosenthal proceeds with Bud Powell’s “Celia” and “Wail,” because we loved Bud, warts and all.

Rosenthal has a precision about his playing that is more about the academic lifeline jazz holds onto today, then the rent parties worked in the 1950s. The first few go-rounds with the music selected leaves the listener cold on the Powell music (too sterile), scratching their head on the Beethoven (where did he detour from the written parts?), and satisfied with his take on Evans.

Repeated spins and the three composer’s music integrates into not three styles but one voice, that of Rosenthal. Sure nobody can play “Parisian Thoroughfare” like Bud, and Rosenthal has no desire to.

His classically modernist take on Powell and Evans fits hand-in-glove with the improvised Beethoven.


Track Listing: I Loves You Porgy; Tempus Fugit; Improvisation On Beethoven

Personnel: Ted Rosenthal

Title: The 3 B's | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Rhapsody In Gershwin

Rhapsody In Gershwin

Playscape Recordings
2014

buy
Wonderland

Wonderland

Playscape Recordings
2013

buy
Out Of This World

Out Of This World

Playscape Recordings
2011

buy
Impromptu

Impromptu

Playscape Recordings
2010

buy
My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

Venus Records
2008

buy
The King and I

The King and I

Venus Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Solo Contra" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Gleb Kolyadin" CD/LP/Track Review Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Is Life Long?" CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Creekside" CD/LP/Track Review Creekside
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Agrima" CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017