188

Jimmy Halperin/ Dominic Duval/ Brian Willson: The Music of John Coltrane

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Jimmy Halperin/ Dominic Duval/ Brian Willson: The Music of John Coltrane
Why would modern improvisers want to create a session around music over 50 years old? That's the question the pairing of bassist Dominic Duval and saxophonist Jimmy Halperin look to answer over the 68-minute program of The Music of John Coltrane. Having already delved into the Thelonious Monk songbook on Monkinus (CIMP, 2006) and Monk Dreams (No Business, 2009), the duo this time has drummer Brian Willson along for the ride, and an honest, engaging and enjoyable ride it is too.

Duval numbers some heavyweight assignations on his dance card, with ten years spent in the company of piano iconoclast Cecil Taylor, and an ongoing stake in Trio X, with multi instrumentalist Joe McPhee. With drummer/composer/educator Willson, he has also fuelled the flights of saxophonist Ivo Perelman on Mind Games (Leo, 2009). Halperin is a less combustible commodity than the Brazilian, but study with the legendary pianist Lennie Tristano and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh bespeaks a sophisticated harmonic conception.

Compared to Monk, Trane is almost unfashionable these days, but the trio stretches out on a selection of the master's middle and late period tunes, featuring one from Blue Train (Blue Note, 1958), three from Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1959), one from the classic A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965) and the title track from the posthumously released Living Space (Impulse!, 1998). Familiar themes are played straight—reverentially, even, at times. But that is where the homage stops. Having launched, the threesome makes no attempt to stay within the compositional confines, instead indulging in a flowering colloquy.

Halperin plays with a sweet airy tone, only rarely pushing to the extremes of his horn. At times, the reedman's singing lines recall Sonny Rollins rather than Trane, but the composer's influence exerts its pull on "Living Space" and "Syeeda's Song Flute," particularly on the rubato upper register passages. As is his norm, although Duval provides a rhythmic substructure it is augmented by a stream of contrapuntal melody, against which the others push or follow as the moment dictates. In fact both the bassist and Willson—who delivers his polyrhythms with a light touch—allow sufficient freedom that the saxophonist is free to choose whatever direction he wishes.

One of the highlights comes in "Naima," where Duval and Halperin partake in inspired dialogue, the saxophonist's rapid fire runs nimbly echoed by the bassist. Halperin's cadenza of restrained but emotive multiphonic cries towards the end of "Moments Notice" also stick in the mind. Overall, the date has a relaxed feel, as if these pieces have been so well absorbed that they don't need charts. And that's perhaps the answer to the opening question: they play these tunes because they enjoy them, and their associations as starting points for their own invention.

Track Listing

Giant Steps; Moments Notice; Living Space; Syeeda's Song Flute; Naima; Pursuance/from a Love Supreme.

Personnel

Jimmy Halperin: tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval: bass; Brian Willson: drums.

Album information

Title: The Music of John Coltrane | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Live At No Black Tie
Jeremy Monteiro, Jay Anderson, Lewis Nash
King of Dowling Street
Lightnin' Hopkins
Mariposas Cantan
Joe Rizo's Mongorama

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.