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Bebop Spoken There

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Friday, March 01, 2019

CD Review: Ehud Asherie Trio - Wild Man Blues

Ehud Asherie (piano); Peter Washington (bass); Rodney Green (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Israeli born Asherie, largely self-taught, paid his dues at the legendary late-night jams at Smalls down in Greenwich Village. It gave him the experience to handle whatever was thrown at him in a jam as well as realising he could look backward whilst looking forward. As such, his take on Louis Armstrong's Wild Man Blues sounds more modern than Parker's Mood! A credit to Asherie and the content of the originals.


Flying Down to Rio is taken at tempo de Peterson and one is tempted to conjure up the mayhem that would have ensued if the film soundtrack had been played at this tempo (in the film, girls were on the wings of an airplane)!

Autumn Nocturne is classic ballad playing at its best. Asherie's choice of chords is as good as any of the great chord-masters such as Garner, Shearing, Buckner, Brubeck, Peterson, Powell - add his name to the list.

Chasin' the Bird is another example of Asherie's fluency - the feeling is that the instrument doesn't own him but that he is lord and master of all 88 notes. Washington and Green indicate that they too are names to be reckoned with in the form of pungent solos and breaks.

It may be 50 or so years since the bossa-nova rhythm entered the jazz lexicon but it hasn't gone away and whilst you sometimes wish it had that is not the case here. Na Baixa Da Sapateira is absolutely gorgeous with a melody that makes you wish that you too were flying down to Rio.

Oh, Lady Be Good may have done wonders for Ella's emerging career, her bull in a china shop onslaught did much for her jazz credence but little for the song. Asherie has the technique to do the same but, sensibly (and sensitively) takes it at a tempo nearer to the Gershwin's original idea without losing the jazz feel it deserves.

Mr and Mrs Gillespie (AKA John Birks & Lorraine) wrote And Then She Stopped which it duly does but not before some more Latin rhythms and scintillating pianistics bring it to that point.
A gem! Available March 15 on Capri Records.
Lance.

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