James Moody & Hank Jones: Eternal Triangle


Eternal Triangle


James Moody (tenor sax, flute) and Hank Jones (piano)


Our Delight (IPO)

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James Moody (tenor sax, flute), Hank Jones (piano),

Todd Coolman (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums)


Composed by Sonny Stitt


Recorded: New York, June 28 or 29, 2006


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Except for a few incidental studio meetings, this 2006 date was the first time James Moody and Hank Jones had been paired in the recording studio. When you consider how long the two men have been playing jazz at the highest level, that's a bit of a surprise. What isn't a surprise is the high quality of this music. Sonny Stitt's quick-paced, "I Got Rhythm"-derived "Eternal Triangle" is an ideal vehicle for the two masters. Moody's solo reminds us that he's always been more than a boilerplate bebopper. His playing has a searching, vulnerable quality. His technique is sure, yet his clear determination not to repeat himself results in a remarkably fresh statement. Jones's solo has an equally spontaneous air. You'd never know that he's probably played "Rhythm" changes a million times. Then again, maybe you would, since he evinces such total freedom within the structural confines of the tune.

These two gentlemen still play like they have something to prove, which is pretty amazing given their track records and seniority—Moody was 81 and Jones just shy of 88 when this was made. They might not be quite as spry as they once were, but the passion for creativity that infuses the music of the best jazz artists remains strong within them.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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