Ari Hoenig: Moment's Notice
Ari Hoenig (drums)
Bert's Playground (Dreyfus 36919)
Matt Penman or Orlando LeFlemming (bass).
Composed by John Coltrane.
Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, 2007
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Jazz standards in 4/4 time rearranged into odd time signatures have a fairly strong "crash and burn" tendency. If a tune was not intended to be in an odd meter (and there are many great ones that are), forcing a tune into 5/4 or 9/8 usually confuses the essence of the tune, and sometimes the musicians themselves – often producing sub-par improvisations along the way. "Moment's Notice," the opening track on Bert's Playground, is a major exception.
The Trane melody is cleverly rearranged into 7/8 here, and flows so naturally that Hoenig has beaten the odds and reinvented a jazz classic. Without doubt, the sophisticated playing also ensures that the arrangement works. Special guest Chris Potter, who is more than used to odd meters from his work with Dave Holland, is in fine form throughout, twisting and turning right along with the dropping of the beat. Rising star Jonathan Kreisberg also shines with a smart solo that dips into some heavy quoting territory. As expected, Hoenig's aggressive interaction with a light touch always remains driven by melody. This group, usually with a different saxophonist, can be found playing at Smalls every Monday night in NYC.
Reviewer: Eric Novod