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

yeahyeahabsolutuelynoway! : Um . . (Rattle Jazz)

yeahyeahabsolutuelynoway! : Um . . (Rattle Jazz)

I'm sure I'll be forgiven if I don't repeatedly type out the name of this Australian trio who appear on New Zealand's Rattle Jazz imprint. For convenience and our sanity I'm going to refer to these... > Read more

GREG HEATH IN LONDON 2009: Kiwi jazz in another climate

GREG HEATH IN LONDON 2009: Kiwi jazz in another climate

Saxophonist Greg Heath has been in London for two decades now, so you’d have to have a long memory to recall him alongside Rick Bryant in the early 80s as a member of The Neighbours – a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP... > Read more

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: The Road (Mute)

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: The Road (Mute)

The most difficult test for any film score is if it works in the absence of images, and even more so if it does when the listener hasn't seen the movie. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have had a... > Read more