Mark Turner: Moment's Notice

The lone standard on Mark Turner's debut as a leader could not pass through the hands of these young talents and come out unscathed. Unlike Coltrane's original 1957 recording, which features a burnin' swing feel, Turner's 1994 performance is in odd meter, giving it a much more angular bounce than a flowing swing. It is good to see that these musicians, who have since grown even more mature in their playing, are stretching their limits by playing the standard in odd meter, and although it seems at times as if the soloist might lose his place, the wonderful Ballard/Grenadier rhythm duo keeps the train on track. This rendition of "Moment's Notice," while at times hard to follow, is an essential track for any listener seeking recordings of standards performed by modern players.

February 11, 2009 · 0 comments


Ari Hoenig: Moment's Notice

Jazz standards in 4/4 time rearranged into odd time signatures have a fairly strong "crash and burn" tendency. If a tune was not intended to be in an odd meter (and there are many great ones that are), forcing a tune into 5/4 or 9/8 usually confuses the essence of the tune, and sometimes the musicians themselves – often producing sub-par improvisations along the way. "Moment's Notice," the opening track on Bert's Playground, is a major exception.

The Trane melody is cleverly rearranged into 7/8 here, and flows so naturally that Hoenig has beaten the odds and reinvented a jazz classic. Without doubt, the sophisticated playing also ensures that the arrangement works. Special guest Chris Potter, who is more than used to odd meters from his work with Dave Holland, is in fine form throughout, twisting and turning right along with the dropping of the beat. Rising star Jonathan Kreisberg also shines with a smart solo that dips into some heavy quoting territory. As expected, Hoenig's aggressive interaction with a light touch always remains driven by melody. This group, usually with a different saxophonist, can be found playing at Smalls every Monday night in NYC.

October 07, 2008 · 0 comments


John Coltrane: Moment's Notice

John Coltrane, artwork by Michael Symonds

John Coltrane had already made folks sit up and take notice as a member of Miles Davis’s quintet, but the album Blue Train established him as a first-rate leader and composer. The title track is the classic cut, but “Moment’s Notice” would be the standout on any other album. The melody is bright yet blue, and the band is tight. Everybody but Jones takes a solo, and everybody has something to say. These are what would become known as the early years, but Coltrane’s expressive, enveloping sound has already developed. His first solo swerves all over the place but stays on track, arriving at its destination right on time.

November 06, 2007 · 0 comments


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