Billy Hart Quartet: One is the Other (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Billy Hart Quartet: Some Enchanted Evening
Billy Hart Quartet: One is the Other (ECM/Ode)

Although drummer Bily Hart seems to have been around since jazz was a young man -- he's now 73 and played in soul bands behind Otis Redding and others before seriously embarking on the jazz route -- this is only his second album for ECM after the rather patchy All Our Reasons in 2011.

But despite being on hand in the past for some muscular Miles Davis funk (On the Corner), as well as playing music which edged towards the free, the label is the natural home for this considered quarter which is pianist Ethan Iverson, tenor player Mark Turner and bassist Ben Street, all of whom are about three or four decades Hart's juniors.

Together they explore originals which pay homage to Lennie Tristano (Lennie's Groove) and Stevie Wonder (the softly swinging ballad Sonnet for Stevie), both by Turner, as well Hart's own unusually paced Amethyst where at the start he drops percussive punctuations like random rain and the tune leads to some more free playing where Turner flits from note to note like some romantic bird.

There are sensitive whiffs of blues here too (the gentle fluttering bop of Yard which nods to Charlie Parker) and the final track is a percussion-centered workout . . . but the real surprise is their elegantly respectful take on the gorgeous Rodgers and Hart tune Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific.

Here the melody and the mood remain paramount, and you might wish for a whole album of such standards from a group which sounds utterly at home in the less-is-more school.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Manfred Schoof Quintet: Resonance (ECM)

Here is further proof that the past is a different country: this double disc pulls together tracks from Schoof albums of the mid to late Seventies when the contract of jazz was very different.... > Read more

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Imprint (ECM/Ode)

Julia Hulsmann Trio: Imprint (ECM/Ode)

While few would deny the gentle beauty of these trio recordings (and, not incidentally, the impressive playing of drummer Heinrich Kobberling), this too often suffers the fate of some... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and Billy Joel: Bad cop, good guy

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and Billy Joel: Bad cop, good guy

It was bluesman Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown who taught me a valuable lesson very early on: it was possible to like a man's music and not like the man who made it. Billy Joel confirmed the opposite:... > Read more

ONLY ANARCHISTS ARE PRETTY by MICK O'SHEA: Pretty vacant, really

ONLY ANARCHISTS ARE PRETTY by MICK O'SHEA: Pretty vacant, really

Before the whirlwind of success hits, there are often significant moments in the early careers of famous rock musicians: a teenage Elvis walking into Sun Records’ studio in Memphis to record... > Read more