202

Deidre Rodman / Steve Swallow: Twin Falls

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Deidre Rodman / Steve Swallow: Twin Falls Deidre Rodman's third release on Sunnyside is accompanied by a poetic statement of purpose: "Growing up in Idaho, she begins, "the mountains became a part of my consciousness. We are led to expect a backward-looking meditation on natural beauty. A backward-looking meditation is what we get, but its reference points are socio-cultural, not geological.

To start, her playing is accented by country & western and gospel music, black and white. Rodman plays country piano the way that Keith Jarrett might (compare her "Sunday Drive to Jarrett's "Radiance Part VIII, from his 2004 release Radiance), with an unapologetic sentimentality and forceful rhythm. "In the Valley also features very strong and propulsive two-handed playing.

But Rodman is equally capable of a very light touch, as on "Hymn, a reworked version of "My Heavenly Father Loves Me in which her notes are few, crystalline and exquisitely placed. "Separate and Beautiful and its two alternate versions ("Midnight Snow-Bright and "Two Lights ) are lighter still: succinct, Zen-like sketches that almost don't exist as compositions.

We have come to expect elegiac piano/bass duos to feature acoustic bass, but Steve Swallow plays the electric instrument instead, making it sound very much like a guitar at times (as on the sumptuous "Still One ). Swallow's accompaniment, needless to say, is flawless, but then he's been at it a long time: he first recorded "Domino Biscuit (a version of which is included here) when his duo partner was three years old.

Two minor quibbles. Some of the cuts disconcertingly fade out at the end in the manner of pop records, a practice not usually associated with this type of performance. Often the sound fades just as Rodman and Swallow are playing beautifully, giving the impression that we are missing out on something valuable. At the same time, many of the very short numbers sound a little like lovely ideas that are not fully worked out. I would have preferred hearing the faded-out numbers run a little longer and some of the shorter ones saved for fuller development on a later record.

"Recently I returned home: the mountains are still full of mystery, but maybe in time they will reveal their secrets, Rodman concludes in her manifesto. Maybe, but on the evidence of this fine new record, the mysteries of her past are more profitably pursued not in the landscape outside her parents' car window, but in the strains of music emerging from the car radio and from the churches in the little towns through which they drove.

Regardless, if this record is the sound of Rodman seeking to uncover secrets of the past, I hope for our sake that it takes her a long time to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Track Listing: Sunday Drive; Going Home; Still One; Lullaby Of The Grandmothers; No Bears Are Out Tonight; Skateland; Domino Biscuit; Disappearing Act; Midnight Snow-Bright; In the Valley; Old Field; Hymn; Interlude; Little Song Two Lights; Away; Separate And Beautiful.

Personnel: Deidre Rodman: piano; Steve Swallow: electric bass.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Warsaw Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Warsaw Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Flawless Dust" CD/LP/Track Review Flawless Dust
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "This Is The Uplifting Part" CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "My Tongue Crumbles After" CD/LP/Track Review My Tongue Crumbles After
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.