Lee Konitz (featuring Elvin Jones): You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To

Lee Konitz and Elvin Jones at first might not seem like a match made in heaven. Konitz's spacious, cerebral choices certainly contrast in style with Jones's sustained intensity. Yet after listening to just the first minute of this 10-minute track, it all makes perfect sense. Konitz presents his lines and leaves room for Jones to respond to the point where solo sections sound more like trading fours and eights than a single musician's statement. It is also quite interesting to compare Elvin in this pianoless trio setting with Sonny Rollins's likewise-pianoless trio from four years earlier. In the interim, 1957's exciting, new, rough-around-the-edges ideas have become a masterfully refined personal style. Notice the addition of another Jones feature here: the doubling of certain parts of triplets between his snare drum and bass drum (01:25-01:30).

August 02, 2008 · 0 comments


Gene Bertoncini: You'd Be So Nice to Come To

Guitarist Gene Bertoncini has built a career, over a period of decades, on intelligence, talent and taste. He is a musician's musician, and although he is not a household name with crossover hits to his credit, the guitarists know how good he is. Many have studied with him -- at Eastman, or at clinics -- or learned indirectly from his records or his instructional DVD.

On this stellar all-strings release, Bertoncini taps into his contacts at Eastman to find some brilliant string arrangements that don't sound like your typical commercial studio gig fare. Fred Sturm, who was a professor at Eastman for more than a decade, contributes a creative chart for "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Even without the guitar part, you would want to come home to this performance.

But Bertoncini is at top form here. He kicks off with a quasi-classical guitar melody statement, but by the time he gets to bar 7, he is working through some glorious thick chords that hint at the jazz riches to come. The string quartet gets an interlude to strut its stuff, then the guitarist returns with another melody statement (but check out the chords again) before taking a crisp, swinging single-note solo.

Certainly there are many fine recordings on the market by this artist, but his fans will want to add this release to their collection; while those who haven't had the chance yet to hear Bertoncini may want to start with this CD.

June 19, 2008 · 0 comments


Art Pepper: You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To

Art Pepper earned a reputation as one of the top alto saxophonists on the West Coast in the 1950s. So it was a highly unusual occasion when he made an album with the hard-bop rhythm section of Miles Davis’s East Coast-based quintet. The collaboration was advantageous, however, as it brought out the best in the intensely emotional altoist and his hard-swinging colleagues.

November 06, 2007 · 0 comments


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