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

THE YOUNG LIONS OF JAZZ (1994): Tomorrow is the question

THE YOUNG LIONS OF JAZZ (1994): Tomorrow is the question

If rock is the culture which eats its young -- or at least allows Kurt Cobain to leave a suicide note which says “I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as... > Read more

Dr Tree: Dr Tree (EMI)

Dr Tree: Dr Tree (EMI)

When this album came out in the mid-Seventies jazz-rock fusion was at its peak and many otherwise sensible jazz musicians were wooed to the dark side. Few came out with any dignity (they just... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Barnaby Weir

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Barnaby Weir

Barnaby Weir out of Wellington, New Zealand, is best known as the man who steers the ambitious musical carnivals that are The Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties. But his 2011 debut solo album... > Read more

DEREK TRUCKS INTERVIEWED (2009): Allman and Clapton, but his own man

DEREK TRUCKS INTERVIEWED (2009): Allman and Clapton, but his own man

For someone yet to hit 30, the Jacksonville, Florida-based singer-guitarist Derek Trucks has achieved a lot. But then, he was almost born to it. His uncle is drummer Butch Trucks of the Allman... > Read more