Seamus Blake: Darn That Dream
Darn That Dream
Seamus Blake (tenor sax)
Live In Italy (Jazzeyes 005)
Seamus Blake (tenor sax),
David Kikoski (piano), Danton Boller (bass), Rodney Green (drums).
Composed by Jimmy Van Heusen & Eddie De Lange.
Recorded: live in Cesenatico, Italy, February 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
This melodically complex tune was originally written for the ill-fated Broadway show Swingin' the Dream, a failed adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with a predominantly African-American cast set in 1890s New Orleans. Here it becomes a vehicle for saxophonist Seamus Blake's harmonic adventures.
Blake starts with a deliberatively slow-cadenced, almost smoky-sounding tenor lead-in of the melody line, embellishing with a dexterously rapid run of notes, before thoughtfully teasing out his own interpretation of this challenging piece. Blake sets the bar high with a deeply pensive solo that reaches inwardly to create a musical statement both emotive and exploratory. He moves through the song's structure with admirable command, approaching the musical brink without ever crossing its imaginary boundary. Pianist David Kikoski follows in a most lyrical and restrained way, contributing an evocative solo that slowly blossoms into a delicate bouquet of sounds. Blake and Kikoski demonstrate that their inner fire can be tempered to hot embers when a song requires the proper thoughtful treatment. Here they find a vehicle that demands measured restraint to extract its essence, and follow this approach with satisfying results.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello