Sunday, November 18, 2007

Art Tatum... Von Sclippenbach Trio... Junior Walker...

Back again in God's Little Acre and hitting the ground - not exactly running, more of an elegant stagger...

Making Whoopee – as we all like to do... Here, played by a trio of Art Tatum, Benny Carter and Louis Bellson. Tatum ripples in for the first A section then Carter takes the repeat 8 bars theme in a chomped-off manner, stretching the melody out more in the bridge and last 8. Tatum solos first, swinging solidly and staying near the theme, suddenly disrupting with a rapid waterfall of notes. Two-fisted old school in places – overall, damn near timeless stuff that transcends generation and style. Carter, one of the great alto players, lest we forget, comes up for his solo. Pithy elegance but with bite, the occasional double time smoothly showing his mastery. Tatum swirls round him like a velvet mist at times as Bellson keeps it moving fairly unobtrusively.

Evan Parker, Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens – the Old Firm, together now for many years. From 'Elf Bagatellen,' this track is 'Resurrection of Yarak.' I would argue for a generous and inclusive continuum that sees Benny Carter and Evan Parker connected, even though the sound worlds of this group and the Tatum trio possess a fair distance of separation. This is pretty abstract stuff – a pointillistic beginning, dabs and dots. Yet the scamper of Parker's lines when he gets going, the occasional bent sonority, display his jazz lineage, however obscured. Schlippenbach solos and demonstrates the same heritage – and the interplay between all of the musicians in this improvised setting binds it all together into that wider linkage. Well, I think so... 'jazz,' shmazz,' at this level, who really cares? The excitement generated as they really take off around seven minutes in obscures trivial debates about genre... Coming to land finally on rumbling deep piano...

Honking r and b tenor is another strand of the collectivity – Junior Walker and the All-Stars here, in a track with an English slant – 'Tally Ho.' Indeed... Weirdly suitable for a late autumn and wet early afternoon back in Blighty... grits and greens meet the stirrup cup over a whacking twelve bar blues...

Art Tatum
Art Tatum (p) Benny Carter as) Louis Bellson (d)
Making Whoopee


Alexander Von Schlippenbach

Alexander Von Schlippenbach (p) Evan Parker (ts) Paul Lovens (d)
Resurrection of Yarak


Jr Walker (ts) plus the All-Stars
Tally Ho


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