188

Jim Ridl: Your Cheatin' Heart and Other Works

By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Ridl: Your Cheatin' Heart and Other Works Jim Ridl, who's been with Pat Martino's bands for years, deserves to be better known. Not only is he a personal, forceful pianist, he's also a first-rate composer and arranger who knows how to put together a band and how to make thoroughly engaging albums like this one. Country songs like Hank Williams' title opus and "Tennessee Waltz are not the usual fare of jazz musicians (exception: saxophonist Benny Wallace). In trio with bassist Steve Varner and drummer Jim Miller, Ridl digs into "Your Cheatin' Heart as if moving the geography from Williams' Alabama to the Mississippi shores of Memphis.

With the rest of his quintet—vocalist J.D. Walter, soprano saxophonist Ron Kerber, bassist Steve Varner and guest Jef Lee Johnson on mandolin—Ridl creates an ethereal version of "Tennessee Waltz, Varner plucking the melody as a high wordless voice and the saxophone harmonizing with the trilling mandolin. It's a truly haunting, singular version of the song.

The album's other standard is the Ellingtonian "Caravan, given a most original reading, beginning with free rubato intros and featuring a long, architectonic solo by Ridl as its centerpiece: it begins a cappella with disjointed, Monkish kernels coalescing into riffs and evolving into long, flowing, two-handed lines. Ridl's three originals include the two-part "Grazed by Light, with a lyric piano prelude, then a quintet version of the attractive melody, with sax and voice again forming a luminous ensemble sound.

"Antiphon (tri vulti pacis) is a stately piece (originally written for the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop big band) giving piano, voice and sax each a turn at the processional melody. "Smile, Said the Drum has, according to Ridl, "a certain Coltrane thing and is dedicated to the memory of Elvin Jones. It has the requisite hard drive from Miller, with swinging solos from Ridl and Kerber; don't miss Ridl's sparkling comp figures behind the sax, exemplifying another reason he's so good.


Track Listing: Your Cheatin Heart; Grazed by Light: Solo Prelude; Grazed by Light: Group; Tennessee Waltz; Caravan; Antiphon (Tri Vulti Pacis); Smile, Said the Drum (for Elvin).

Personnel: Ron Kerber: soprano saxophone; J.D. Walter: vocals; Steve Varner: bass; Jim Miller: drums; Jef Lee Johnson: guitar, mandolin; Jim Ridl: Yamaha grand piano, Happyland baby piano.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Dreambox Media | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Guilty Saints" CD/LP/Track Review Guilty Saints
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Reflections Of A Voice" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections Of A Voice
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Arrhythmia" CD/LP/Track Review Arrhythmia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix" CD/LP/Track Review The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: August 23, 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!