Bobo Stenson: Send in the Clowns

The blend of Bobo Stenson’s pensive delivery of this famed melancholy melody and the freely moving, pulsating bed of rhythm that Jormin and Motian provide bears one of the more striking opening tracks in recent memory. As the melody unfolds and casts a gradually darker shadow, the dynamic variation intensifies, with each player choosing their own space to claim temporary headship before recoiling to concentrate on mood and texture. The spontaneous rhythmic output ranges from quick bursts, as evidenced by the perfectly poked-out bass line at 1:18, to extended runs, exemplified by Motian’s web of polymetric thoughtfulness from 1:32 to 1:42, at once intensely daring and elegant as only this drummer can supply. Far from your typical “get through the head” mentality in order to usher in the improvisation, this four-minute extended statement of “Send in the Clowns” proves that, when in doubt, melody is enough.

October 13, 2009 · 0 comments


Thomas Moeckel's Centrio: Send In The Clowns … And Let Them Play

Thomas Moeckel's arrangements and compositions frequently border on the theatrical, so it's probably no accident that the versatile Swiss jazzman chose to record a popular tune from the Sondheim songbook. In a lightly chorused and lovingly crafted rubato solo guitar arrangement, he faithfully renders the essential elements of the original before adding his blue-sense-worth in a relaxed swinging bridge of his own ("… and Let Them Play"), featuring downhome guitar phrasing and a nice upright solo by Dominik Schurmann. He then returns to the Sondheim melody, once again taking A Little Night Music home to the warmth of his solo guitar.

February 12, 2009 · 0 comments


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