Bobo Stenson: Send in the Clowns

Track

Send in the Clowns

Artist

Bobo Stenson (piano)

CD

Goodbye (ECM 1904)

Buy Track

Musicians:

Bobo Stenson (piano), Anders Jormin (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Composed by Stephen Sondheim

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Recorded: April 2004

Stenson

Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The blend of Bobo Stenson’s pensive delivery of this famed melancholy melody and the freely moving, pulsating bed of rhythm that Jormin and Motian provide bears one of the more striking opening tracks in recent memory. As the melody unfolds and casts a gradually darker shadow, the dynamic variation intensifies, with each player choosing their own space to claim temporary headship before recoiling to concentrate on mood and texture. The spontaneous rhythmic output ranges from quick bursts, as evidenced by the perfectly poked-out bass line at 1:18, to extended runs, exemplified by Motian’s web of polymetric thoughtfulness from 1:32 to 1:42, at once intensely daring and elegant as only this drummer can supply. Far from your typical “get through the head” mentality in order to usher in the improvisation, this four-minute extended statement of “Send in the Clowns” proves that, when in doubt, melody is enough.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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