JazzErie Discussion Group, October 20, 2011
From Argue to Douglas
Starting with Darcy James Argue
Denny Kitchen begins the session by introducing us to the big band of “Darcy James Argue and Secret Society.” The track, “Phobos,” is lushly beautiful, very orchestral with moving use of dynamics, tone color and soloist/orchestra interplay. It invites comparison to Maria Schneider, Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer.
(James Darcy Argue photo by Dan Gurgel)
Sonny Rollins’ “Valse Hot” is a rather slow waltz, not your average bouncy jazz waltz which comes off as cute. This tempo takes commitment and musicianship, of which there is surplus in this quintet otherwise known as the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet. Music by masters on Prrestige from 1956. Thanks to Jim Metzler.
Ken Gamble chooses one of the finest female vocalists truly deserving of the prefix “jazz.” This is Rene Marie on her album “Black Lace Freudian Slip.” All the songs but two are originals which she presents with her characteristic fresh, bold, liquid audacity.
Dave Douglas Creates a Keystone Album
By offering two works, Gary Finney points out the endurance of certain concepts and attitudes relating to jazz performance. This specific point is concerned with the degree of freedom involved and its effect on the performer and the listener. This was enthusiastically explored during the seventies and this “loosening-up” of form continues to be an exciting and refreshing stance. We hear Dave Douglas and the band, “Keystone,” compared and contrasted with Herbie Hancock’s “Water Torture,” from the 1972 “Crossings” album.
In 1955 trumpeter Clifford Brown recorded an album of ballads with string section and orchestrations by Neal Hefti. The performance was astounding: a showcase for his worm, rich tone, maturity of conception and canny technical mastery. He was only twenty-five years old and six months later would be a victim if a tragic automobile accident. If there is no Clifford Brown in your collection, (a recording from) his brief career will fill a very large space in the history of the jazz trumpet.
By Charles Ventrello
October 20, 2011