This Is Jazz: Live at the Blue Note

This Is Jazz: Live at the Blue Note

by Donald Harrison
     
 

The last time Donald Harrison, Ron Carter, and Billy Cobham recorded together as a trio was on 2005's New York Cool: Live at the Blue Note. Carter and Harrison have worked together in a couple of episodes of the excellent HBO television series Treme, but the particular chemistry this trio puts forth has been missed because of its kinetic spontaneity, andSee more details below

Overview

The last time Donald Harrison, Ron Carter, and Billy Cobham recorded together as a trio was on 2005's New York Cool: Live at the Blue Note. Carter and Harrison have worked together in a couple of episodes of the excellent HBO television series Treme, but the particular chemistry this trio puts forth has been missed because of its kinetic spontaneity, and even more, its sense of balance. This Is Jazz was recorded in March of 2011. It contains originals, covers, and standards. Carter's "Cut & Paste" opens the set with a beautiful knotty blues head in which the swing is built-in hard. Cobham keeps his playing tight, focused on Carter's bassline, as Harrison stops and starts in the melody before he takes off. Cobham drops out briefly and lets Harrison solo as Carter walks his bass furiously. When Harrison starts to sprint -- albeit elegantly -- Carter's right there as Cobham comes back and the fun begins in earnest. Harrison flirts with the outside but never quite goes there. This is post-bop playing at a high and imaginative level. On Carter's "MSRP," he and Harrison introduce a blues theme in unison before Cobham enters. His playing is so seamless and intuitive, and compared to the Cobham of old, quite restrained. He syncopates, shuffles, and connects with Carter on every level, never offering more than what's necessary, yet swinging like mad. The eleven-and-a-half minute reading of Miles Davis' "Seven Steps to Heaven" is presented with requisite fire and imagination, with Harrison pushing hard at the tune's margins and Carter finding something new in the architecture (he played on the original). In the reading of "I Can't Get Started," Cobham introduces a beautiful -- and unexpected -- bossa rhythm before Harrison goes over the top reaching for something on the horizon. Album closer "Treme Swagger" is a deeply funky, second-line fingerpopper by Harrison. Cobham has the breaks and bumps to make it jump, while Carter gets into the bottom end of his bass to make the groove pour out of it. Harrison punches up the melody, rhythmically and soulfully, strutting it from uptown to downtown capturing the essence of not only NOLA jazz, but its blues and R&B too. When Cobham pops his breaking solo and Carter follows, it's a certified dance number. This Is Jazz is the finest offering by this trio to date. Let's hope it isn't another six years before they record again.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/06/2011
Label:
Halfnote Records
UPC:
0616892455028
catalogNumber:
924550
Rank:
136330

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