MP3 Lew Tabackin - Dual Nature
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6 MP3 Songs in this album (45:21) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Hard Bop, JAZZ: Bebop
Shelly Manne who has been playing seriously with Lew for the past couple of years describes Lewâs playing enthusiastically; âHe has deep roots. I love the way he plays and the feeling he generates. And the ears he hasâ¦ he plays with you. He treats his two instruments very creatively but differently. He drives very hard on tenor and flute but definitely has a whole other feeling on flute.â
The flute side of the record opens with an original by pianists Bill Mays. Euterpe is a name derived from Greek mythology â goddess of music and poetry, and was chosen by Lew as something flutistic and impressionistic. It is something he could improvise on melodically and not necessarily in a rhythmic manner. The ending is like a tag with flute and piano. Don Friedman is an exceptional pianist; his sensitive, evocative music is a welcoming sound since he hasnât been heard from much since his more active recording days of the sixties. His music is lucid and introspective and, of course, reminiscent of Bill Evans. He is an example of the benefit of empathetic, grand musicians on the session, along with Shelly and Bob Daugherty.
Yellow is Mellow is certainly not Donovanâs Mellow Yellow by any stretch of the imagination. Composed by Toshiko, it is a straight ahead ABA tune with a nice groove. The light, tongue in cheek âlife (yellow) is beautifulâ atmosphere projects a strong affinity to the Modern Jazz Quartetâs relaxed feeling. Lewâs gorgeous alto flute provides a refreshing change of color and pace.
Shelly starts out playing a waterphone on Youâre Clear Out Of This World, bowing it and creating a mysterioso feeling. This exotic instrument is out of Shellyâs enormous repertoire of percussion instruments. Lewâs penchant for re-harmonizing tunes is in evidence. The vitality and tasteful intelligence of San Francisco born Don Friedmanâs piano is a sheer delight to listen to in the interplay with Shelly and bassist Bob Daugherty whose inventory of jazz experiences is nearly impossible to recount due to its extensiveness. He is currently into close to three years in the Los Angeles studios and active jazz scene since moving from New York. His warm tone and impeccable choice of notes is a key part of the swinging feel of the music.
The tenor saxophone side is announced with No Dues Blues, an appropriately titled original composed by Lew shortly after leaving the studio dues of the âTonight Showâ band. Itâs symbolic in that it is a light hearted thing imbued with a certain gaiety and optimistic spirit. Just listen to Lewâs expression of a feeling of relief. âI made up my mind to play music,â Lew says, âI never did really want to be a studio musician. I just have to playâ¦ and I mean play a lot. I feel that Iâm a jazz musician and have reached a Peter Principle level in other things.â The tenor and drums duet with Shelly is a model of psychic interaction and dynamic improvisation.
A septet led by Coleman Hawkins recorded Richard Whitingâs lovely My Ideal on December 4, 1943; it included Cootie Williams, Art Tatum, Oscar Pettiford and others on that vintage Commodore Classic record. Here we have that classic tradition of Coleman Hawkins and the inspiration of Ben Webster transferred in a moving performance by Lew Tabackin whose big, full-bodied sound and warm romanticism wipes me out. Itâs gorgeous! Lewâs wonderful rendition is a compliment to Benâs thorough and unusual intelligence. This tune has not been done very often and it too may be a contemporary classic via this rendition. Friedmanâs gentle lyricism is an asset, too.
A jaunty mood pervades Russian Lullaby to close the record. âWhen youâre dealing with standard material, we try to find tunes not done often and itâs difficult to find tunes not played to death or a tune Sonny Rollins hasnât recorded yet; heâs done just about every tune!â says Lew. âI like to play a tune to the point of absorbing the entire essence of the tune, to get so into the tune to transform it, going beyond playing the changes of the tune,â he describes; âA tune has a characteristic and a color to it otherwise we wouldnât play it or just play the changes. A problem of much of jazz today is that they play a tune and the solo has nothing to do with the tune. The tune has its own spirit and you can return to it and take it somewhere else. I enjoy getting inside a tune and transforming it.â
The mosaic of settings in this record allows this transformation by the Tabackin quartet to take place while it provides an eloquent jazz portrait of the dual nature of Lew Tabackin.
-From the 1978 liner notes
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