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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CD Review: Vance Thompson's Five Plus Six - Such Sweet Thunder

Vance Thompson, Michael Wyatt, Joe Jordan (tpt/flug); Tylar Bullion, Sean Copeland (tmb); James Mitchell (alt/sop); Greg Tardy (ten bs. clt); David King (bar/sop);  Keith Brown (pno); Taylor Coker (bs); Nolan Nevels (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Reimagining Ellingtonia, Monk and Dolly Parton is the album's subtitle. Well, Hello Dolly, I guess you never quite expected to be moving in such exalted jazz circles! By the same token I think Monk and Duke may have been equally surprised to be alongside Country's most Royal personage!
The heart of Five + Six is Thompson's working quintet - the Marble City Five (in bold above) - augmented  by additional horn players to make for a cracking biggish band ensemble.
Little Sparrow, to be honest, bears little resemblance to Dolly's version although that shouldn't be allowed to detract from what is a cracking track - maybe Dolly has yet to hear it?
Ellington is represented by Strayhorn's Isfahan, their collaboration on the title track Such Sweet Thunder and Duke's Prelude to a Kiss and Rockin' in Rhythm. Monk kicks in with Pannonica, Ugly Beauty and Four in One whilst He's Gone Away is based on a traditional Appalachian folk tune and dedicated to the late great bassist Charlie Haden. It is as poignant as Goodbye Pork Pie Hat was when recorded by another bass player nearly sixty years ago. Keith Brown - son of Donald - arranged Prelude and, with a bit of help from dad, Four in One. Thompson charted the rest as well as blowing fine trumpet and flugel.
Brown proves himself to be a worthy son of an illustrious father and Tardy's tenor is not tardy but very much Tardy! (I just love these wordisms!) 
Prelude, not surprisingly, is quite an adventurous arrangement yet does not lose the impact of the original. It's one of those tunes where you think, "I could have composed that" but, of course, you didn't - you missed out - just like you did on Happy Birthday and White Christmas!
If you're emotional, have the tissues on standby for He's Gone Now.
A beautiful CD available on Shade Street Records on January 6, 2015.. 
Lance.
Live version of Rockin' in Rhythm.

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