April 16, 2009

THERE'S ANOTHER NAME FOR CREATIVE CONSTRAINT...:

Finding New Facets in a Treasury of Old Diamonds (NATE CHINEN, 4/16/09, NY Times)

The Blue Note 7, appearing through Sunday night at Birdland, upholds an extremely clear agenda with crisp results. Assembled as a tie-in to the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records, the group has an album, “Mosaic,” featuring new versions of classic tunes from the label’s catalog. And this week’s run concludes a tour that began at the start of this year, hitting 50 cities across the country. There’s reason to trust that the ensemble — a coalition of bandleaders, almost to a man — has established its own sound and footing.

That’s largely true, judging by its animated late set on Tuesday. Beginning and ending strong, with just a momentary lull in between, the Blue Note 7 fulfilled its mandate with precision and more than a whiff of style. There were good, bracing solos all around, especially by the trumpeter Nicholas Payton and the tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. The rhythm section, led by the pianist Bill Charlap, worked impeccably.

Still, there was a hint of creative constraint to the band’s output, which may have had little to do with the musicians themselves.


...respect for the material.



Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2009 8:08 AM
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