Time Out Take Five is the second of a regular jazz column by Glide contributor Doug Collette, who will be taking snap-shot reviews of five recent jazz albums.
Dave Brubeck – Indian Summer (Telarc) – 4 Stars
Brubeck’s well-wrought solo piano work here radiates the wistful melancholy of a life well lived. The use of the familiar autumn metaphor becomes extremely effective through the depth of feeling in Brubeck’s playing. As such, the venerable jazzman’s ruminations on the respective backgrounds of each tune, included in the liner notes, become almost redundant: articulate as are his verbal reflections, they’re not so eloquent as his music.
Pat Metheny – Secret Story (Nonesuch): 3.5 Stars
This second expanded re-master of Pat Metheny’s catalog is not so essential as the collaboration with Ornette Coleman – Song X, but it’s illuminating and engaging in its own way. Comprising a mere sixteen minutes plus on a second CD, the bonus tracks recorded with a small combo may appear unfinished, but there is an intimacy within them missing from the ornate likes of the official cuts. There, in a likely illustration of how he demos his music to his Group, Metheny plays any number of instruments other than guitar in a lush setting (including orchestral arrangements) that nevertheless sound inimitably his own.
Joshua Redman – Back East (Nonesuch): 3 Stars
Returning to acoustic music after a spell in the electric realm with The Elastic Band, Joshua Redman invokes the history of jazz to put him in touch with his muse (the title hearkens to Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West as well as Redman’s own early history). With the saxophonist in a decidedly transitional phase, this session doesn’t bristle with the same sense of discovery as his earliest recordings or, understandably, those of his longstanding quartet. But the best moments here suggest a more sustained artistic epiphany won’t be long in coming.
Deep Blue Organ Trio – Folk Music (Origin): 4 Stars
DPOT’s redefinition of the classic jazz lineup of organ, guitar and drums is perfectly simple, thoroughly soulful and wholly contemporary. The production in particular affords a sound as deep and rich as any fan of the Hammond B-3 would want, so its contrast with Bobby Broom’s detailed guitar is absolutely delicious while the easy-rolling rhythms invites playing over and over again.
McCoy Tyner – Afro Blue (Telarc):
Running the gamut from big band arrangements with the Latin All Stars to trio dates with Stanley Clarke and Al Foster, this hour collection also intersperses solo piano tracks culled from the pianist’s last eight years work. In so doing, it provides a broad portrait of an artist remaining vigorous throughout his career and should invite both fans and novices to delve more deeply into the diversity of Tyner’s work.