David Murray: I Want to Talk About You

Tenor saxophonist David Murray puts his lush, Ben Webster-ish ballad tone to good use on "I Want to Talk About You," singer/composer Billy Eckstine's re-working of Erroll Garner's "Misty." Accompanied by a top-drawer straight-ahead rhythm section (John Hicks on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, and Ralph Peterson, Jr. on drums), Murray ratchets down his free jazz inclinations in favor of a melodic, relatively conservative approach. That's not to say he's simply running the changes; he makes his share of oddball melodic choices, but they're sensitively rendered and contextually sound. He walks the harmonic tightrope with focused assurance. His improvisation is finely nuanced, its twists and turns constantly surprising. John Hicks lends additional elegance, while Drummond and Peterson goad and submit in just the right proportion. A lovely performance.

July 03, 2009 · 0 comments

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Stéphane Grappelli & McCoy Tyner: I Want To Talk About You

When one hears another version of this tune, John Coltrane's 1963 emotionally charged interpretation from his Live at Birdland release immediately comes to mind, especially Trane's awe-inspiring one-of-a- kind coda. Grappelli and Tyner (pianist on that Trane masterpiece) approach this performance from a more romantic, less beseeching point of view. At the same relaxed tempo as Coltrane's, Grappelli essays the lilting theme with a semi-sweet vibrato, Tyner offering full-bodied support to the violinist's tender yet fervent variations. Stéphane's cascading solo is similarly both delicate and profound, and McCoy's all-too-brief improv that follows is laden with majestic chords. As Grappelli lingers lovingly on the melody while the track nears its conclusion, you lean forward in hopeful anticipation of a coda from the violinist that, alas, never comes. Grappelli and Tyner first performed together three years prior for a Maryland Public Broadcasting event, and this recorded collaboration between the then 82-year-old young-at-heart violin giant and one of the most influential pianists in jazz history was the fortunate end result.

March 26, 2008 · 0 comments

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John Coltrane: I Want to Talk About You (Live at Newport, 1963)

This Coltrane performance is essential jazz listening for two reasons. First, it is the most complete performance of the classic Coltrane quartet without one of its major members – Roy Haynes is subbing for Elvin Jones on drums. Jazz fans are so used to the interaction of the classic quartet that listening to three members working with a different drummer (Trane called Haynes’s drumming “spreading” versus Elvin’s “driving”) is fascinating. Additionally, this track features a Trane cadenza that extends over three minutes and is an ideal representation of Trane’s ability to retain emotional impact while performing at a blistering rhythmic pace.

October 23, 2007 · 0 comments

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