Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 7
Roy Haynes - Yardbird Suite
This week we shall begin with a classic tune performed by a solid quintet of veterans, the Roy Haynes Group from the album, Birds of a Feather. Roy is still kicking ass after 95 years – go figure. We previously heard him in Chick Corea’s classic early trio with Miroslav Vitous. And we give kudos to Roy Hargrove who passed recently of covid. Dave Kikowski is a wonderful pianist in the Cedar Walton tradition whom I have been meaning to bring to you. Kenny Garret carries on the tradition of Bird with some excellent alto playing.
Chick Corea, Roy Haynes & Miroslav Vitous at The White House
Here is a remarkable performance of that Chick Corea Trio at the White House long ago that I just found. These are probably the only folks who can make a free piece sound good. They then flow seamlessly into two recognizable tunes. Of poor recording quality it’s more about the interesting visual context with all the White House personnel all sitting unmoving in their formal dress, along with an outstanding Miroslav bass solo and Roy sounding great.
Chuck Loeb - Unspoken
I’ve been meaning to bring you some outstanding smooth-jazz, so here is a start. Chuck Loeb, although well-known through his work with Four Play, has performed in many trad-jazz contexts as you will read in his obit below. He has a gorgeous sound, heard in this tune that has a very interesting set of chord changes in one of my favorite relaxed grooves. Listen as he stretches out on the tag (the extended ending that repeats in harmonic cycles). Nathan East is a remarkable electric bassist we shall explore more in the future, and Brian Culbertson is a mainstay of the smooth-jazz community.
Mike Clark - Of Infinity
Here is Mike Clark, who played in one of Herbie Hancock’s first fusion groups. It’s a burning sextet performance with Randy Brecker whom I haven’t heard for a while, but who is certainly deserving of attention. And a pair of saxophonists whom I did not know, Anthony Farao and Rob Dixon, along with Donald Harrison on piano with Christian McBride on bass. Although recorded live, it is very well done acoustically.
Fred Hersch - Passion Flower
We cannot omit a weekly trio performance. So here is Fred Hersch, one of the Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau coterie of very introspective pianists, playing the beautiful, Passion Flower , on this album of Strayhorn tunes. I just love his gentle touch and harmonic choices. The credits say bass guitar with the trio, but it’s certainly an acoustic bass.
Fred Hersch - UMMG
Here is another from this exceptional trio in that medium swing groove I tend to favor, U.M.M.G , for the Upper Manhattan Medical Group. (Note it gives the correct designation for the bass.)
Fred Hersch - Lotus Blossom
Let’s have another beauty from this trio album but as a solo performance, Lotus Blossom.
Fred Hersch - Day Dreams
And Day Dreams from this album, but with strings added. Sorry folks but I’m on a Hersch-Strayhorn binge this week.
If you have found any of my choices in this Quarantine Jazz column to be particularly moving, please let me know so I can bring you another performance of that ilk. Have a good, safe week, firstname.lastname@example.org.