I know some jazz fans who speak disdainfully of what they call “jazz party jazz.” The stereotypical music they reject is fast, loud, and showy. Through many routined performances, it lacks spark and ingenuity; it is flashy, never delicate.
I submit this trio of performances from the 2014 Atlanta Jazz Party as inventive, lyrical rejoinders. For one thing, there’s Dan Barrett’s choice of songs; to some, they are ancient standards, “played to death.” But when was the last time you heard a band play these three songs? (Perhaps in 1945, these were overdone, but they aren’t now.) And the performances are leisurely, rather than formulaic, the music growing organically rather than according to set patterns. Hear the variations within each performance: trades, unaccompanied passages, riffs, backgrounds, a little homage to Coleman Hawkins in IDAHO — a sweet singing quality throughout. I hear truly satisfying music: Keynote Records visits April 2014, if you admire science-fiction in swingtime.
MY MELANCHOLY BABY:
I SURRENDER, DEAR:
I’ll be posting more from the Atlanta Jazz Party, and hope to see you there in April 2015.
May your happiness increase!