[Dixielandjazz] Ben Ratliff (NY Times) Waxes Nostalgic

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 26 07:10:52 PST 2004

Below are, according to Ben Ratliff, NY Times Jazz Critic, the TOP 2 Jazz
Albums released in 2004. Maybe not quite OKOM, however they are both very
interesting picks.

Why? Because they reach back in time to a gentler, more understandable jazz,
rather than ahead to avant garde, and modernism, the usual jazz critic
choices, which most of us berate.

They are both very musical CDs.

Could this be a trend? Read on:

December 26, 2004 - MY Times
THE BEST - By Ben Ratliff

The Deepest Jazz Grooves

"1. JOE LOVANO: 'I'M ALL FOR YOU' (Blue Note). On paper, the quartet of Mr.
Lovano on saxophone, Hank Jones on piano, George Mraz on bass and Paul
Motian on drums neatly entwines the classicist and experimentalist streams
in postwar jazz. But I doubt they gave that a second's thought. Here they
play only ballads, knocking them out of the park with a grace that seems
effortless. The rhythm is wickedly self-edited and deeply behind the beat;
the saxophone playing is billowing, smeared and full of Ben Websteresque
caresses; Mr. Jones's clarion bebop piano runs through it all."


MY NOTES: This could have been titled "Lovano For Lovers" It is a beautiful
CD with 9 tunes including: Don't Blame Me, Stella By Starlight, Like Someone
in Love, Early Autumn and Monk's Dream. Recognizable melody, beautifully
tender renditions from a jazz master of his instrument.


(Eighty-Eights/Columbia). It's the last session Hank Jones recorded with his
brother Elvin, the incomparable improvising drummer of modern music. (Elvin
Jones died on May 18.) The program is all standards, and the star is Elvin,
playing superbly, with the great depth of his sound accurately recorded."


MY NOTES: A wonderful recording, especially for drummers because Elvin is in
top form. His drums are tuned exquisitely, played tastefully and recorded
clearly. Another album of standards including Caravan, Softly in a Morning
Sunrise, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Satin Doll (listen to the piano on this
one for some new ideas on an old stanby), Moose The Mooche and Someday My
Prince Will Come.

These picks absolutely blew me away because IMO, they demonstrate a desire
on the part of jazz critics as well as the growing jazz audience for a
simpler, more melodic form, yet one still filled with expert improvisation.

Catch The Wave.

Steve Barbone 

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