368

John Stetch: TV Trio

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
John Stetch: TV Trio Pianist John Stetch makes it clear that the Great American Songbook has a sequel: television themes. With TV Trio, Stetch presents a collection of some of his favorite themes from perhaps the most influential period of this music, the '70s and '80s.

Canada-born Stetch earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Montreal and won the Prix du Jazz at the Montreal International Festival in '98. His recording and stage associations include Mark Turner, Charlie Haden, Victor Lewis and others. Accompanying him on TV Trio are Doug Weiss on bass and Rodney Green on drums.

A hint of "Merry Melodies" opens "This Is It," the fanfare that began the popular Bugs Bunny hour. Stetch's arrangement captures the original melody but shakes, rattles and stirs it to new directions; Weiss and Green are very effective in the background, while Stetch carries the show.

One of the more recognizable and often covered themes, if only because the series has remained contemporary since its cancellation after only three seasons is "Star Trek." Even when playing the original melody, Stetch manages to mix in something new, keeping it familiar but at the same time going where—pardon the expression—no musician has gone before; he's taken the song from a show theme to a lively jazz club offering.

In contrast is a rather subdued take on "Dallas," absent are the strings, horns and triumphant pace of the original. This arrangement disappoints, relative to the vigor and creativity shown with the other songs. "The Love Boat," though slightly more upbeat, also lacks the flair of the original; for those familiar with the originals, the slow pace and quiet mood may take some getting used to.

Green's high-speed cymbal play helps highlight the dramatic "Six Million Dollar Man," perhaps the most challenging song in the set. Stetch takes what was a one-minute show piece and turns it into more than five minutes of no-holds-barred jazz. After the faithful opening, the trio takes off into free-spirited play, briefly going back to the theme; the trio then softens, with Green providing extra emphasis on the toms and cymbals.

A few of these titles aren't as memorable as the shows—not to the point where they became radio hits like Bob James' "Angela" (Theme from Taxi), Mike Post's "The Rockford Files" or "L.A. Law." Though some original melodies are more dominant than others, this is straightforward piano-led jazz trio music—enjoyable on its own merits, independent of the shows from which it draws its inspiration.


Track Listing: The Waltons; This Is It (Bugs Bunny); Star Trek; Dallas; Love Boat; The Six Million Dollar Man; Rocky and Bullwinkle; The Mighty Hercules; The Price Is Right; All My Children; The Flintstones; Sanford and Son.

Personnel: John Stetch: piano; Doug Weiss: bass; Rodney Green: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Tributango" Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Potsdamer Platz" Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Zero To 60" Zero To 60
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2016
Read "Soldani Dieci Anni" Soldani Dieci Anni
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "When In Moscow" When In Moscow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 12, 2016

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!