484

Tom Harrell: Live at the Village Vanguard

C. Michael Bailey By
Published:
Views: 30,594
Tom Harrell: Live at the Village Vanguard
A Jazz Prometheus, unbound...

Tom Harrell is the John Forbes Nash, Jr. of jazz. Against considerable odds, Harrell has successfully struggled with schizophrenia and become one of the most respected trumpeters and composers of the past 30 years. On his first live recording, Harrell squirts out a treasure trove of new material supplemented with the single (and most appropriate) "Everything Happens To Me." The results are as uniformly fine as we listeners have come to expect from this master.

Here, Harrell leads a quintet in an assembly of characteristically Harrell-abstracts, mood pieces reflecting all matter of wakefulness. The nervous opener, "Asia Minor," submits an angular head that segues into a lyrically swinging flugelhorn solo by Harrell. His solo is supplemented with the tenor of Jimmy Green, who turns in a good solo of his own. The somnolent "Manhattan, 3 AM" provides a ministry for bassist Ugonna Okegwo, while Xavier Davis provides tasty comping on all cuts and exquisite solos on his duet with Harrell on the contemplative "Everything Happens to Me." "Where the Rain Begins" is a plaintive ballad composed by Harrell and his wife/manager, Angela. The piece showcases Harrell's superb grasp on the ballad playing with an open trumpet bell.

"Blues in Una Sea" is a bit of a Hard Bop throw back, sporting elements of the blues and those great Wayne Shorter melodies, circa 1962. "Design" was inspired by Ornette Coleman and results in one of the most spirited performances of the evening, complete with smart complexity and erudite observation. The closer, "Party Song" is a polished Lee Morgan Boogaloo, quietly funky, allowing all of the participants to have their say.

Live at the Village Vanguard is brimming with all of the smartness and attentive humor of the other Harrell recordings. That this Harrell recording is live simply makes it all that much better.


Track Listing: 1. Asia Minor; 2. Manhattan, 3. 3 AM; 4. Where The Rain Begins; 5. Blues In Una Sea; 6. A Child's Dream; 7. Design; 8. Everything Happens To Me; 9. Party Song. (Total Time: 70:09).

Personnel: Tom Harrell:trumpet, flugelhorn; Xavier Davis: piano; Jimmy Greene: tenor saxophone; Ugonna Okegwo: bass; Quincy Davis: drums.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: RCA Victor | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Trip
Trip
HighNote Records
2015
buy
First Impressions
First Impressions
HighNote Records
2015
buy
Colors Of A Dream
Colors Of A Dream
HighNote
2013
buy
The Time Of The Sun
The Time Of The Sun
HighNote Records
2011
buy
Number Five
Number Five
HighNote
2010
buy
Tom Harrell: Roman Nights
Tom Harrell: Roman...
HighNote Records
2010
buy
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
Roy Hargrove Roy Hargrove
trumpet
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Art Farmer Art Farmer
flugelhorn
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUT IT!