Hall made his name as a straight-ahead jazz player who has made well-received forays into Third Wave classical-jazz fusion and the avantgarde, while Frisell made his name as a mainstay of the ECM Records stable while also making significant contributions to New York's forbidding downtown avantrock scene before moving deeper and deeper into a personal interpretation of country and Americana sounds.
Sound Recording Reviews 837 cided he wanted piano lessons so he could with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Joey learn how to play it himself. This disc is, in Baron. The duets are a mix of freely impro- a way, a culmination of the decision made vised pieces, jazz standards and original as a small child. It juxtaposes classic turn-of- compositions, and they are all quite bril- the-century works by Scott Joplin (“Solace,” liant. Frisell’s “Throughout” is presented in “Gladiolus Rag”) and James Scott (“Grace a strange and glisteningly lovely arrange- and Beauty”) with slightly later works ment, while the Milt Jackson chestnut by other American composers (Clarence “Bag’s Groove” is given a stomping and Woods, Robert Hampton, Joseph Lamb) swinging interpretation that requires no and contemporary rags written by Smart rhythm section to make its muscularity fully himself. A common mistake made by ama- felt. There is also an interesting arrange- teur pianists is to be seduced by the joyful ment of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War.” This syncopation of ragtime music into taking disc’s longest and most impressive piece is the pieces much too fast. Smart knows bet- an improvisational piece titled “Migration,” ter, and his interpretations of these lovely on which Frisell uses delay and looping confections are generally taken at caress- strategies to create a multilayered bed over ingly sedate tempos, even when (as on his which Hall solos. The quartet session is own “Two Flower Rag”) the listener might more heavily weighted towards jazz stan- occasionally wish that there were a bit less dards and beneﬁts greatly from drummer rubato and fulsome sentimentality and a bit Joey Baron’s unassailable taste—his under- more rhythmic vigor. Those moments con- stated but propulsive playing on “I’ll trast very nicely, however, with his robustly Remember April,” in particular, is thrilling foursquare interpretations of pieces like in large part due to its economy. The the brilliant title track (a Lamb composi- group improvisations are very ﬁne, but it’s tion), the impressionistic “Cataract Rag” by the performances of classic tunes like “My Robert Hampton, and Joplin’s restrained Funny Valentine” and “In a Sentimental but structurally impressive “Gladiolus Rag.” Mood” that really stand out on this second Smart’s witty and infor
Pages to are hidden for
"Hemispheres"Please download to view full document