Friday, January 02, 2009

Re-up: Clusone Trio... plus: King Oliver... Booker Ervin...

Slowly getting back into the field... I promised to re-up this a week or more ago. The Clusone Trio, playing '117th Street.' (7 beyond 110th up into Harlem?). Anyway, no point re-writing, at the time I said:

'The Clusone Trio give the Herbie Nichols tune, '117th Street,' an outing. Always an element of drollery lurking when Bennink is involved – those crazy Dutch, eh? This swings in lightly over crisp old-school drumming as Moore states the theme and take the first solo – a limpid performance that builds through some more complex swirls into earthier smears. Reisjeger picks his cello through his turn before Moore returns for a brief passage then back in to the theme. Bennink throughout is in homage to earlier drummers mode. An odd mix of the old and disguised hints of the new, filtered through a wash of post-modernism, done with some affection... '


To keep it rolling... some early stuff. From one of the main sources, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band playing 'Mandy Lee Blues.' The cutting edge of 1923... In his prime, soon to be overshadowed by his young protégé Louis Armstrong on second cornet and eventually falling from great heights of fame to riduculous obscurity but in the canon as we stand now because of his adventures with muted horn as much for his bandleading abilities - bending the trumpet away from the straight sound to echoes of the human voice and timbral shifts beyond - the line goes forward to such as the mighty Bill Dixon, to pull a name out of the ether... A calm controlled strut, mainly featuring Johnny Dodd's clarinet - but the King comes in later with some wah wah... Classic.

The Book - doing 'Autumn Leaves.' Muted trumpet sax intro - then that big-hearted horn booms in at a firm tempo to take the theme in his usual imperious fashion. More of that clenched trumpet from Richard Williams - drums busy him along nicely. Mr Ervin steps up and boots it up a gear - as he always did. They call(ed) this hard bop but BE had something else going for him that transcended those boring labels. The pegs we hang stuff on because we are lazy in our delineations, perhaps. His tone is somewhere near the keening edge of John Coltrane's but with an earthier dimension - fast blowing and all blues. One of my favourites, anyway... Cath and I have been figuring out a version... Les Feuilles Mortes encore... Nice to play behind a singer again...

Clusone Trio
Michael Moore (as, cl, mel) Ernst Reijseger (cel, el-cel) Han Bennink (d, perc)
117th Street


King Oliver
King Oliver, Louis Armstrong: (c) Johnny Dodds (cl) Honore Dutray (tr) Lil Hardin (p) Bill Johnson (b, banjo) Baby Dodds (d)
Mandy Lee Blues


Booker Ervin
Booker Ervin (ts) Richard Williams (t) Horace Parlan (p) George Tucker (b) Danny Richmond (d)
Autumn Leaves


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