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Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records
     

Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records

by The Blue Note 7
 
As part of a seventieth year celebration for Blue Note records, the label convened a collection of younger and experienced jazz stars to play hard bop compositions closely identified with their mid-'50s to mid-'60s glory days. This kind of band has been conceived before -- remember Out of the Blue? -- but the difference is these are not new rising stars, but

Overview

As part of a seventieth year celebration for Blue Note records, the label convened a collection of younger and experienced jazz stars to play hard bop compositions closely identified with their mid-'50s to mid-'60s glory days. This kind of band has been conceived before -- remember Out of the Blue? -- but the difference is these are not new rising stars, but established musicians who have carved their own identities on other labels, except pianist and ostensible leader Bill Charlap. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonists Steve Wilson or Ravi Coltrane, and guitarist Peter Bernstein have never recorded for Blue Note as leaders, so it is a curious collection of personnel to process as an identifiable Blue Note band. While certainly a nostalgia trip through these famous tunes, the rearrangements are at times diffuse, somewhat confusing, and lack a certain spark of originality the selections had when they were born. This is not to say the playing itself is substandard, it is far from that via these excellent jazz musicians. These are clearly reimagined tunes, faithful to the precepts of Blue Note, a slight bit cleansed and sterile, but it seems as though they are trying too hard to add new life to material that could be played straight with their own voices for maximum effect. Wilson's arrangements of Bobby Hutcherson's "Little B's Poem" and Thelonious Monk's "Criss Cross" hold the most intrigue, with the former led by his flute in an off minor treatment that strains the original melody, while the latter is a decent treatment, triggered by staggered phrasings and shifting dynamics, especially from Charlap's angular piano. Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge," arranged by Payton, deviates from the original, the melody interpreted by bassist Peter Washington, with tinkling bass and piano leading to the unified, horn-driven second chorus. Cedar Walton's "Mosaic" has Charlap unexpectedly modally morphing drummer Lewis Nash's arrangement with a denser rhythmic foundation. "The Outlaw," a lesser known Horace Silver number, has Charlap again adapting his chart to the color scheme in a feeling closer to Silver's concept. Bernstein channels Grant Green well on his light blue take of Duke Pearson's languid ballad "Idle Moments," while "Dolphin Dance" is a tick-tock, trumpet paced version that is the most updated track of the date, done without violating Herbie Hancock's aesthete. This group is a one shot, made to tour and then splinter as the bandmembers go their separate ways as leaders. They are not one notes, but likely better heard in a stretched, in-concert setting than what sounds here like an extremely controlled studio environment. Mosaic is the perfect title -- jagged edged, asymmetrical pieces laid out in organized form under a bed of black, colors popping out, intriguing, ultimately uneven.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2009
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
5099922812322
catalogNumber:
28123

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blue Note 7   Primary Artist
Steve Wilson   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Lewis Nash   Drums
Peter Bernstein   Guitar
Bill Charlap   Piano
Nicholas Payton   Trumpet
Peter Washington   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ravi Coltrane   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Herbie Hancock   Composer
Duke Pearson   Composer
Renee Rosnes   Arranger
Horace Silver   Composer
Cedar Walton   Composer
Lewis Nash   Arranger
McCoy Tyner   Composer
Dae Bennett   Engineer
Peter Bernstein   Arranger
Bill Charlap   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Michael Cuscuna   Producer,Audio Production
Ira Gitler   Liner Notes
Bobby Hutcherson   Composer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Nicholas Payton   Arranger
Eli Wolf   Producer,Audio Production
Burton Yount   Art Direction
Rachel Salomon   Art Direction

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