Tethered Moon: Trouble Man
Play Kurt Weill (Winter and Winter 919076)
Composed by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill.
Recorded: NYC, December 1994.
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Masabumi Kikuchi enlisted Gary Peacock and Paul Motian, the bass-drums tandem formerly of Paul Bley’s expansive piano trio from the 1960s, for Tethered Moon, an under-the-radar trio that has released a handful of consistently beautiful records for the Winter and Winter label. While their first two records from 1990-91 feature a collection of varied standards and original compositions, Tethered Moon have also released three concept/tribute recordings – one to French pop singer Edith Piaf (Chansons de Edith Piaf), a series of challenging improvised adaptations of Puccini’s Tosca (Experiencing Tosca), and this 1994 session dedicated to interpreting the songs of Kurt Weill. While a few of the better-known Weill tunes are finely played here (“Moritat,” “Speak Low,” “My Ship”), “Trouble Man’s” carefully paced, dramatically unfolding delivery reveals the session’s highlight. This is contemplative jazz of the highest order – no notes are taken for granted or played without purpose, and the changes and/or tempo can temporarily melt away without ever sacrificing the commitment to an underlying pulse and the ever-present melody.
Reviewer: Eric Novod