Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 5
Michael LeDonne – Lined with a Groove
For this week, another nice cooking trio cut, with the outstanding rhythm section of Christian McBride and Lewis Nash. Christian plays one of his very percussive and melodic solos in the mold of Ray Brown. The pianist plays along the lines of Cedar Walton and Bill Charlap. Although the form is not a blues, it uses seventh-chords extensively to yield a strong blues groove.
Note the chorus of wonderful scatting Mike LeDonne does after the bass solo, and his nice piano accompaniment of himself. It's very hard for many vocalists to scat like an instrument in a way that comes across musically and natural; not sounding artificial or mechanical. Mike does it exquisitely. No other pianist that I know of also sings scat.
Russell Malone Trio - Tail Feathers
Here is Russell Malone with his trio. He was to have performed at the UNH Traditional Jazz Series several years ago but was unable to come as a result of a large snowstorm. This is a mellow groove demonstrating Russell’s taste. Like the last tune it has a bluesy feel but is an AABA 32-bar tune. Note how he throws in a little dissonant passage in his improvisation for contrast, with other short passages of dissonance in the head itself to contrast with the open blues feel.
Note his economical playing – no rushing at all.
Pat Martino - Oleo
Probably my favorite guitarist, in the classic organ trio setting with Joey Alexander performed live. This tune simply kills. Pat sets the standard for staccato solo lines. And he used his classic repeated note or notes pattern to contrast with the fast intervallic lines.
This version of Oleo is representative of his playing and contrasts nicely with the version by Phineas we heard previously. Notice how the introduction belies the melody coming up; we don’t know it is going to be Oleo. Unfortunately the cut ends during Joey’s solo but I felt it still worthy of providing for you.
Pat suffered a stroke a while ago and was unable to play for a while. Then the story has it that he relearned how to play by studying his past performances.