Oscar Pettiford: All The Things You Are

Oscar Pettiford came into prominence during the 1940s through his associations with Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington. While working with Woody Herman in 1949, Pettiford suffered a broken arm and found it difficult to play the bass. For rehabilitation purposes, he learned to play the cello and after his recuperation, he played it occasionally on gigs. A shining achievement of his cello technique is his 1959 version of “All The Things You Are.”

Pettiford plays the introduction arco, then Koller enters with the melody. Throughout the first chorus of the song, Pettiford develops a call and response pattern with Koller. During his solo from 1:59-2:52, Pettiford incorporates several techniques including even eighth-note patterns, note bends and slides. Zoller enhances the performance by choosing notes that further develop the contour of Pettiford’s solo. “All The Things You Are” serves as a great addition to the history of the cello in jazz and to Pettiford’s late discography.

September 09, 2009 · 0 comments


Gonzalo Rubalcaba: All the Things You Are

Rubalcaba's appearances with Haden and Motian at the 1989 Montreal Jazz Festival and the 1990 Montreux Jazz Festival—the latter where this track was recorded—were instrumental in creating a huge buzz regarding the young Cuban pianist's virtuoso talent. This warranted hype grew despite the fact that it would be several more years before he would be allowed to enter the United States to perform, due to State Department restrictions. That Rubalcaba was the real deal early on is clearly evident on this kaleidoscopic 11-minute treatment of "All the Things You Are," the reliable warhorse that has served to test and measure countless jazz musicians over the years. Rubalcaba brings to bear his early classical training, as well as his exposure to Afro-Cuban music and jazz influences such as Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea.

The pianist starts with a contemplative solo exploration of the melody's familiar harmonies, but quickly ups the tempo as he's joined by Haden and Motian. Forceful chords, propulsive rhythmic variations, convoluted gliding runs, and hurtling two-handed unison passges are among the many treats Rubalcaba offers the audience at Montreux. Haden and Motian admirably manage to keep up with him, but seem merely along for the ride. The bassist does get a chance to solo fervently about five minutes in, obviously inspired by Rubalcaba's verve. Motian succeeds him with a characteristically loose and unpredictable improvisation. Rubalcaba picks up where he left off for the final three minutes, at first racing cogently through the changes before a somewhat more subdued, but ultimately rhapsodic winding-down. A star is born.

June 23, 2009 · 0 comments


Denny Zeitlin: All The Things You Are

After Denny Zeitlin moved to San Francisco in 1964, he formed a working trio with Charlie Haden (b. 1937) and Jerry Granelli (b. 1940) that lasted for two years. Their first album was Carnival, and as remarkable as Zeitlin’s freshman Cathexis album was, his second was a definite step forward. Among its numerous high points was this unique treatment of an oft-performed standard. The “hook” of Zeitlin’s arrangement is the song’s bridge, or middle section—it’s played in waltz time, except for the final two measures, and repeated over and over to build tension before returning to the final A section.

The trio’s execution of this—at times delicate, at other times soaring—is sublime; this is one of the quintessential jazz recordings of “All the Things You Are”. Zeitlin rerecorded his arrangement in the late 1980s with bassist Joel DiBartolo and drummer Peter Donald (Denny Zeitlin Trio Windham Hill Jazz 112), but this slower version is definitive.

June 14, 2009 · 0 comments


Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins (with Paul Bley): All the Things You Are

The piano solo on this song was my first introduction to Paul Bley's music. When I heard it for the first time (7 years ago or so), it basically changed my life. Many people have spoken about the originality and historical importance of this solo, analyzing it in detail and discussing its far-reaching influence; instead of trying to do something like that, I'll just talk briefly about what it has meant to me personally and why I love it so much.

Like many young musicians today, I came up through the jazz education system. I was a diligent student, so I had learned a fair amount of music theory and had a pretty solid understanding of which notes were "correct" for me to play on one chord progression or another. The three choruses that Bley plays here (sandwiched between a more traditional yet beautifully lyrical solo by Coleman Hawkins and a perhaps slightly self-conscious solo by Sonny Rollins) showed the limitation of those theoretical conceptions, and represented a radically different approach to improvisation, one not about right or wrong. It was a paradigm-shifting moment for me, one which caused me to reevaluate my musical priorities.

In this solo, Bley's melodies roam freely in and out of the written changes, each line unfolding in its own curious way, pursuing its own muse. Yet he’s not just playing “free”; even when he's not using the prescribed chord-scales, he always knows exactly where he is in the form of the song, and his ideas are incredibly coherent—sometimes motivic, sometimes gestural, sometimes playful, always imaginative. I find this solo to be one of the most strangely beautiful moments in the history of recorded jazz, so I really don't want to spoil it by attempting to use any more words to describe what he's doing here. Just listen.

June 12, 2009 · 0 comments


Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins: All The Things You Are

This track comes from the fabled Sonny Meets Hawk! sessions from July, 1963 with Rollins and Coleman Hawkins, and exhibits perhaps the most abstract playing of Rollins’s career. This track also features one of the greatest piano solos ever from Paul Bley. While retaining bits and pieces of Jerome Kern’s melody in their improvisations, Bley and Rollins both play against the time, the changes, and everything else, but still swing ferociously, while Henry Grimes on bass and Roy McCurdy on drums keep things together underneath it all.

April 20, 2009 · 0 comments


Gerry Mulligan: All the Things You Are (1957)

This recording was part of a project that "might have been." Columbia Records producer George Avakian asked Mulligan to record an album with a big band. Mulligan wrote a few scores and recorded them over two days with an all-star group. He wasn't entirely happy with the results, later saying that the rhythm section didn't have the looseness he'd achieved with his small groups. However, he cited "All the Things You Are" as one of the recordings he was particularly pleased with. An earlier version of this arrangement was written for the Stan Kenton Orchestra; along with the original pieces Mulligan submitted to Stanley during this period, he was assigned arrangements for dancing, which he considered "dog work." Obviously there was enough interest in this setting to cause him to revisit it. Beginning with an introduction in 3/4 time, Mulligan plays the melody. He is joined in the next chorus by a contrapuntal dialogue between himself, Lee Konitz and trumpeter Don Joseph. The orchestral statement that follows is similar to the Kenton version, and the arrangement features a lovely out-chorus with the 3/4 intro returning.

Avakian shelved the tapes on Mulligan's request, and the project officially died when Avakian left Columbia. Gerry would remember the lessons he'd learned from this abortive project when he formed his Concert Jazz Band, which did have the looseness of a small group.

January 11, 2009 · 0 comments


Stochelo Rosenberg: All The Things You Are

It doesn't matter how many times you may have heard or played this tune. Sinti phenomenon Stochelo Rosenberg has done the near-impossible, breathing new life into one of the most overworked numbers in the American Songbook, ironically with timeworn tools borrowed from the genres of classical, fusion and Gypsy jazz.

Right out of the gate, you know this isn't a standard version of Jerome Kern's popular warhorse. Following a unison intro worthy of Return to Forever, a Baroque-like extrapolation of the familiar theme sets up Stochelo's high-energy, staccato solo work. While staying within a disciplined framework of 16th notes, he muscles through some of the most challenging changes in the jazz repertoire with fire and intensity. Then, just when you thought there was nothing left to say, Mozes parts the Fret Sea and lets his fingers go. Swinging just enough to lull the senses into complacency, he quickly builds to a level of volatility equal to Stochelo's pyrotechnics.

I believe it was Robin Nolan who said, "We'll never catch up to the Gypsy guitarists." This track is a prime example of why this may be a truism. It's all the things we can only hope to be, and then some.

August 04, 2008 · 0 comments


Jason Seizer: All the Things You Are

No need to ask who German tenor player Jason Seizer was influenced by: Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh are the obvious answers (probably through Mark Turner, by the way). Here Seizer not only tackles "All the Tings," a frequent warhorse of Tristano alumni, but does so without quoting the written melody until the last few seconds of the track – another a trademark of cool school musicians for whom paraphrasing standards and carving countermelodies to their themes was a daily exercise in creativity. How does that way of playing work with this basically unknown German musician? On the one hand, it is quite refreshing compared to all the post-bop addicts roaming the international jazz scene. On the other hand, Seizer's sound and phrasing are not distinctive enough yet, and his efforts might not sound quite as interesting without Marc Copland's challenging chordal support. So we have a personality worth taking account of but that needs competition and a stimulating surrounding on a regular basis to better develop its budding potential.

July 31, 2008 · 0 comments


Moods Unlimited: All The Things You Are

These sessions must have been a dream come true for the young Bill Evans (sax). He was only 24 at the time, and here he was performing with two jazz giants. The best fusion players, as Evans (sax) is, have always had strong musical foundations that allowed them to effectively play from the standard jazz repertoire. Evans is outstanding on "All The Things You Are." His intonation and phrasing are perfect. His improvising is full of nuance. Jones and Mitchell knew the kid was good. Why else would they agree to be part of a trio named Moods Unlimited with the youngster? Jones and Mitchell play off each other in the midsection. Their timing is impeccable. Who needs a drummer? Their wonderful interplay is a true delight. And the solos are no chopped liver either. If I was a betting man, I would say that although Bill Evans (sax) comes off as an equal on the recording, he went to school for a few days playing with these fellows.

May 12, 2008 · 0 comments


Bireli Lagrene: All the Things You Are

Bireli Lagrene could easily have been typecast as "that Gypsy guitarist who sounds like Django." After all, he was winning praise and international contests for his Django-like playing before he was even a teenager. But he was an artist who wanted to reach beyond his knowledge. After meeting such jazz greats as Larry Coryell and Jaco Pastorius, he went jazz-fusion. Yet another side of Bireli is heard on the standard "All The Things You Are."

While Lagrene is at home with the total jazz repertoire, his acoustic playing retains an undeniable Gypsy element. On this cut he goes acoustic, but thanks to Koono's electric keyboards the piece has a modern jazz-rock feel. Lagrene's swing and seamless improvising would sound great at the Hot Club or at any other club in any era.

April 27, 2008 · 0 comments


Jack Reilly: All the Things You Are

Pianist Jack Reilly continues to delight with his intelligent piano playing. This version of the Jerome Kern standard served as the final encore from a performance by Reilly's trio recorded in the UK last year. This music comes out of the rich Tristano-Evans tradition, which Reilly understands at a very deep level. This trio doesn't jump on any bandwagons or try to impress with its trendiness. Rather, they deliver thoughtful, linear improvisation handled with consummate skill. The recording quality is a mixed bag, with the drums getting lost in the mix, but Reilly's keyboard comes through loud and clear. If life were fair, this artist would not be building his discography with low-visibility indie releases, but would have an ECM or Verve behind him. Maybe we need to get a "musical taste" transplant from the savvy jazz fans in the UK, who have hosted Reilly on three visits since 2002.

March 20, 2008 · 3 comments


Woody Shaw: All the Things You Are

Half of the band featured on Night Music, one of Woody Shaw's final recordings, is alumni of the "Blakey School." Shaw first appeared with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers in 1969 and reappeared sporadically throughout the early 1970s. Turre joined in 1973 (as Shaw was departing) and Mulgrew Miller arrived in 1985, nearly three years after this track was recorded. The arrangement is fairly standard, with the classic intro and a delicate delivery of the melody by Shaw and Hutcherson. The soloists (Shaw, Hutcherson, James) are all in fine form, and Turre's improvised fills over the final statement of the melody provide an appreciated concluding lift. Another highlight is listening to Hutcherson's and Miller's sympathetic interplay behind Shaw's solo.

March 08, 2008 · 0 comments


Jim Hall: All The Things You Are

At first alone with his guitar, then with himself through re-recording, Jim Hall fashions a refreshingly thoughtful version of this timeless standard. He begins almost on tiptoe, as on a single string, then introduces the harmony, and once he's completed the first 32 bars launches a counterpoint that soon becomes a solo. This could almost be a music lesson, but with such a master it never sounds scholarly. On the contrary, the apparent simplicity of Hall's radiant touch and joyous strumming makes this performance sound more like a lesson in life.

February 12, 2008 · 0 comments


Lennie Tristano (with Lee Konitz): All the Things You Are

In the annals of jazz history, the Sing Song Room of the Confucius Restaurant will never be confused with Birdland or the Village Vanguard, but Lennie Tristano recorded one of his finest live dates in this unlikely setting during the summer of 1955. This excellent version of "All the Things You Are" was originally released by Atlantic on their Lennie Tristano LP in February 1956, but a larger selection of recordings from the Confucius Restaurant has occasionally been made available (currently they can be found on a poorly produced Spanish import with sound quality inferior to the old LP release). Both Konitz and Tristano were improvising at top form on this gig, which finds them thriving in a low-key setting, seemingly playing as much for their own enjoyment as for the audience. Somehow I think that if this same crew had been featured at Carnegie Hall that evening, the musical results would not have been half so fun.

Konitz would later move away from his cool jazz sound, but here he reminds us of the long lineage of cool sax playing going back to Lester Young and Frank Trumbauer. Imagine a bebop update on Prez (circa "Lady be Good") translated to alto, and you have some idea what this track sounds like. Tristano plays with great relaxation and inventiveness here, and offers up a smart linear improvisation. His lines at the turnaround at the close of his first chorus and the bridge of his second chorus are absolutely choice—demonstrating a way of accenting complex long phrases across the barlines that sounds twenty years ahead of its time. Remember this was recorded long before those types of interval choices or rhythmic dislocations were common currency. Then again, this artist always had an uncanny knack for anticipating the future history of jazz.

"All the Things You Are" was a familiar friend to the Tristano school, played at many of their gigs; but they never got stale playing it. Rather its performance was like the repetition of a ritual, finding deeper meanings with each new encounter.

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments


Sidney Bechet & Martial Solal: All The Things You Are

It must have seemed strange, in the late stages of a "war" between jazz traditionalists and supporters of the bop revolution, to pair a New Orleans-born veteran and an up-and-coming young virtuoso who was soon to become one of Europe's leading modern pianists. Plus a rhythm team that Martial Solal more than Sidney Bechet was familiar with, and which six months later would also support Miles Davis on the famed soundtrack of Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (1958; released in the USA as Elevator to the Gallows). But Bechet was such an icon in his adopted homeland of France that he could afford to do anything and was revered by every musician. Here he basically stays very close to the melody, with his huge sound and plentiful vibrato, and lets Solal toy around with the harmonies in a playful, witty way that the pianist even uses when he comps behind his unwavering elder. Not much of an encounter, indeed, but still a very interesting example of musical co-tenancy.

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments


Previous Page | Next Page