Harvie S: Miyako
Harvie S (acoustic bass)
Now Was the Time (Savant SCD 2092)
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
As stated in the liner notes for Now Was The Time, playing the songs is never about dazzling technique for these two guys who have that in spades, but rather about “the music itself, letting the tunes be songs.” Thus, choosing songs with strong melodies enhances the performance, and using a classic Shorter composition like the beautifully intricate tone-poem “Miyako” is always going to be a wise choice.
S, a no-nonsense bassist in the tradition of Ray Brown, uses his sweetly benign playing style to gently coax out the long, elliptical melodic phrases of the composition. He blurs the line between performance and harmony so successfully, the listener is apt to not even notice he is hearing a bass solo, just the song being exquisitely rendered. Barron could hardly be any more sympathetic, releasing the chords thoughtfully as if they were valuable commodities.
Together, S and Barron make “Miyako” the fully realized aural Picasso that Shorter intended for it to be with just two instruments.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron