TODAY’S MUSIC IS SWING: HOWARD ALDEN / ANDY BROWN QUARTET at THE GREEN MILL (November 12, 2011)

I haven’t yet made it to Chicago to hear guitarist Andy Brown in his native habitat (although he travels well), but this extended romp on the theme song from the 1959 film classic will do for now.  It finds Andy in the company of one of his musical friends and idols, Howard Alden, with bassist Joe Policastro and drummer Bob Rummage.

This isn’t “nostalgia” or “repertory” jazz — it shines in its own ways.  First admire the ease of the soloists as both Andy and Howard intuitively build their solos, moving from quiet single-note lines to percussive chords.  Notice their wise use of space (hear the phrase with which Howard begins).  Then move back a bit and listen to the thoughtful, rocking support each guitarist gives the other, and the strong sweet heartbeat of the bass and drums.  Who needs a piano, a big band, or amps turned way up high?  What we need to make us happy is contained within this remarkable subtle quartet.  Any CD producers out there?  Seems to me many of us would enjoy a whole hour of this music . . .

And there are two other performance videos by this group on YouTube: Tal Farlow’s METEOR and Barney Kessel’s BERNARDO.  Click here to enjoy them:

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3 responses to “TODAY’S MUSIC IS SWING: HOWARD ALDEN / ANDY BROWN QUARTET at THE GREEN MILL (November 12, 2011)

  1. Pingback: IMPASSIONED CLASSICISM: ANDY BROWN, HOWARD ALDEN, BOB RUMMAGE, JOE POLICASTRO | JAZZ LIVES

  2. Pingback: IMPASSIONED CLASSICISM: ANDY BROWN, HOWARD ALDEN, BOB RUMMAGE, JOE POLICASTRO | Jazz Music Trends

  3. My wife and I hear your quartet play at the Self Help dinner at the Standard Club and we were very ikmpressed. As I told one of you, your rendition of Warm Valley is the first I have heard of that beautiful tune since I listened to Johnny Hodges play it with the Duke Ellington band, many years ago, Hodges rendition was so good it brought tears to one’s eyes, but yours was very good , too.
    As I told you, I am a cellist who plays jazz, and I’d love to jam with you guys. Can I get together with you sometime? From May to October of each year I play on Monday nights at the What Not Inn, a roadhouse in Fennville, MI, near where we have a cottage in South Haven. Monday night is open mic night, and you get to play tunes with their good house trio. But i’d like to play during the rest of the year also. I’d be glad to audition so You can see if I am up to standard in wanting to play with you guys. By the way, thanks for making available the Heavy Artillery CD. Sam Golden

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