George Garzone: Have You Met Miss Jones

Garzone is of course best known as a member of the legendary Boston trio The Fringe, which he co-founded in 1972. For his 1996 CD away from that group, Four's and Two's, he was joined by Joe Lovano, whose then recently released CDs Quartets and Rush Hour were helping to further establish him as one of jazz's rising stars. As can be heard throughout Four's and Two's, and perhaps most vividly on the seemingly always inspiring standard "Have You Met Miss Jones," the lesser-known Garzone more than holds his own with Lovano, the two backed by an airtight rhythm section.

Garzone's captivating LennieTristano-like reharmonization, or countermelody, with Lovano weaving in wisps of the original melody, stunningly launches this essential track. Garzone's solo is typically complex, as he appears to be conducting a responsive dialogue with himself between intriguing constructs played alternately in the upper or lower registers of his horn. (A transcription of this terrific solo is included in the CD's notes.) Calderazzo follows with a swinging, driving pulse that animates his impressively formed and delivered runs. Like Garzone, Lovano's improvisational approach is oblique, his meaty phrasing and tonal variations plunging deep into the heart of the tune's attractive harmonies. After John Lockwood's brief Paul Chambers-sounding bass interlude, the two horns again engage in the swirling in-an-out revision of the theme.

August 03, 2009 · 0 comments

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George Coleman: Have You Met Miss Jones

Coleman has long had a liking and affinity for Richard Rodgers' compositions, going back to the saxophonist's enduring contribution to "My Funny Valentine" in 1964 while he was a member of the Miles Davis Quintet. Essentially a diligent "changes" player with a sophisticated harmonic sense, Coleman's muscular, expansive approach has always been best suited to standards, be it an up-tempo flag waver or a pensive ballad. Coleman's tribute CD to Rodgers grew out of his acclaimed participation in a 1997 Carnegie Hall Jazz Band concert that focused on the music of the team of Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Harold Mabern's gorgeously lyrical prelude, with its hints of "You Better Go Now" and the verse to "I Cover the Waterfront," precedes Coleman's sensitive yet meaty delivery of the theme of "Have You Met Miss Jones." During Coleman's solo, one notices his self-possessed ability to finish off his phrases and maintain a persistent and engaging continuity amidst surging, sometimes densely packed extended lines. Mabern's lavish connecting passages link the end of Coleman's improv to the tenor's graceful reprise and coda. The pianist's efforts, as well as the understated, attuned support of Jamil Nasser and Billy Higgins, help to elevate this interpretation to the level of a classic.

June 29, 2009 · 0 comments

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Art Tatum: Have You Met Miss Jones?

Has Art Tatum met Miss Jones? By the end of this five-minute track, Art has taken her uptown, downtown, out back, and round the block twice. He can even tell you if she has any sisters at home, and describe that birthmark behind her knee. Yes, he knows Miss Jones, and relates every detail in this keyboard jaunt. Here are all the Tatum trademarks: the effortless stride, the rapid-fire runs played with machine-like clarity, the modulations into the stratosphere and back, the "Look, Ma, three hands!" pyrotechnics. All well and good. But, after this, there isn't much left of Miss Jones for the next pianist.

November 23, 2007 · 0 comments

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Joe Pass: Have You Met Miss Jones?

Joe Pass's Virtuoso LP on Norman Granz's Pablo label shook up a lot of guitarists when it was first released, and catapulted Pass from obscurity to the top ranks of jazz artists. Soon Pass was recording with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, among others, and following up with several more solo guitar releases under the Virtuoso imprimatur. Pass lived up to the big claims of the title - he was a true virtuoso of the six strings. The speed and clarity of his single-note lines was unsurpassed among jazz guitarists of his day, but one can also enjoy his performances for their harmonic ingenuity or their sheer unbridled swing. On "Have You Met Miss Jones?" Pass is all over the fretboard, spinning out basslines, rapid-fire licks, passing chords, moving from relaxed rubato to hard-driving swing rhythms, dancing through the "Giant Steps" changes in the bridge. And every note sings clear, every phrase conveys a confident sense of mastery. Pass is now gone, and only the recording remains. But a generation after this album's debut, it still captivates and impresses.

November 23, 2007 · 0 comments

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