Seamus Blake: Darn That Dream

Track

Darn That Dream

Artist

Seamus Blake (tenor sax)

CD

Live In Italy (Jazzeyes 005)

Buy Track

Musicians:

Seamus Blake (tenor sax),

David Kikoski (piano), Danton Boller (bass), Rodney Green (drums)

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Composed by Jimmy Van Heusen & Eddie De Lange

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Recorded: live in Cesenatico, Italy, February 2007

Albumcoverseamusblake-liveinitaly

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

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