quinta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2014
Atlantic Jazz - Mainstream (86)
"Nowadays, when the term "mainstream jazz" is used in most circles, it is synonymous with bland, inoffensive, smooth jazz. Perhaps all too aware of that, critic Bob Blumenthal stumbles a bit in his liner notes to Atlantic Jazz: Mainstream by going to the dictionary to explain how this album was compiled. He had no need to do so, for “mainstream” shouldn’t be considered a dirty word.
Rather, these are recordings made by some of the more popular artists to pass through the Atlantic studio. If their music appeals to a wider audience, not only exposing more listeners to jazz but also allowing Atlantic to pay the bills, so be it. These mainstream artists are widely respected in the jazz community. It’s not like we’re talking Kenny G here.
The concept of mainstream incorporates several unique types of jazz, at least as it is presented on this album. Big band is represented on tracks from Duke Ellington ("Perdido") and Woody Herman ("Four Brothers"), as well as a European edition co-led by expatriate bop drummer Kenny Clarke and Belgian piano player Francy Boland ("Speedy Reeds"). At the other end of the spectrum, The Modern Jazz Quartet performs a more intimate chamber jazz.
Horn man Tony Fruscella, who played in the cool mode, opens the album with a stirring rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You." Art Farmer and Ira Sullivan, both of whom prefer the bop style, also treat the listener to stately ballads.
Coleman Hawkins takes us back to the days of swing while David "Fathead" Newman and his employer, one Ray Charles, go even further back by giving a dedicated reading to Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
Despite its abundance of styles, Atlantic Jazz: Mainstream is well programmed. For example, Side 2 contains the three big band tracks, all upbeat numbers, separated by the Farmer and Sullivan ballads, “Embraceable You” and “Everything Happens to Me”, respectively.
There is also a sense of jazz history, or at least continuity, at play. On Coleman Hawkins’ piece, the self-penned "Stuffy," Milt Jackson and Connie Kay back him up. The very next cut is “Django,” a tribute to the Gypsy guitar legend Django Reinhardt. It is performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet, of which Jackson and Kay were members. Following that number comes Reinhardt's own “Daphne” as performed by his onetime partner, violinist Stephane Grappelli.
Although there is nothing particularly earth-shattering about these performances, all 10 of its tracks are refreshing to hear. Also, each track has a different lead artist, something that cannot be said of most of the other albums in this series. In that sense, Atlantic Jazz: Mainstream is an ideal sampler."
01. I'll Be Seeing You · 3.14 · Tony Fruscella
02. Ain't Misbehavin' · 5.37 · Ray Charles
03. Stuffy · 5.39 · Coleman Hawkins & Milt Jackson
04. Django · 4.34 · The Modern Jazz Quartet
05. Daphné · 3.19 · Stéphane Grappelli
06. Perdido · 5.03 · Duke Ellington
07. Embraceable You · 7.00 · Art Farmer & Jim Hall
08. Four Brothers · 3.31 · Woody Herman
09. Everything Happens to Me · 5.43 · Ira Sullivan
10. Speedy Reeds · 5.35 · Clarke-Boland Big Band
Disco e capa em ótimo estado.
Edição Brasileira de 1988.
Saindo por R$ 20,00