Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Second Cycle - Melissa Aldana

I saw Melissa Aldana mention her CD, Second Cycle, on the Facebook Saxophonists group page, then All About Jazz had an article about her, then the New York Times referred to her as “a searching and self-assured young tenor saxophonist” in its announcement of a performance at the Jazz Gallery (1/25/13).  So I thought I should give Second Cycle a listen.

Personnel: Melissa Aldana, tenor saxophone; Gordon Au, trumpet; Joseph Lepore, bass; Ross Pederson, drums.

“Ellemeno” is an upper mid-tempo tune (composed by Au) with a jaunty, boppish theme played by trumpet and sax in harmony.  Au takes the first solo, and he sounds a lot like Wynton Marsalis, with a straightforward tone, superb technique, and a liberal use of growls and note-bending.  Aldana solos next; she has a solid, controlled sound on the tenor sax, using what sounds like a hard-rubber mouthpiece. Her tone is a bit like Stan Getz’s, though her phrasing is more like Joe Henderson’s (but she is more introspective than Henderson and uses more space between her phrases).  Her solo here is intelligent and witty (e.g. she quotes from a couple of Monk tunes), and she has good interplay with Pederson, who does a nice job of filling in the spaces between her phrases.  Pederson also gets in a brief, solid solo alongside a Lepore ostinato.

“Meeting Them,” by Aldana, has an intricate, quiet, sneaky theme played in unison by trumpet and sax against a shuffle rhythm provided by Pederson.  There is a bit of improvisational interplay between trumpet and sax before Aldana takes the spotlight.  Once again, there is good interplay between Aldana and Pederson during her solo; it is virtually an improvised duet between them.  Lepore is comparatively static here, playing a repeated bass line.  After a restatement of the theme, the tune quietly ends with Aldana musing on the tenor.

“Liquiescence” (by Au) is a mid-tempo tune with a pretty melody played in counterpoint by trumpet and sax and with a slightly Latin feel.  Pederson is very active as an accompanist again (maybe even a bit too active).  The horn players get to stretch out here: Aldana plays an attractive solo alternating fast runs with slower phrases, and Au is a more reflective and probing in his solo here than on the opening cut, still sounding like Marsalis in his faster phrases.

“First Cycle” (by Aldana) just has the trio without Au, the tune having a delicate, rhythmically complex melody.  After a meterless section, Pederson and Lepore lock into a groove, and Aldana plays a strong, aggressive solo, with plenty of arpeggios, flurries of notes, and well-controlled forays into the altissimo.    

“Second Cycle” is a lower mid-tempo composition, again without trumpet, with another rhythmically complex theme.  Aldana tells a story in her composition rather than just providing a framework for improvisation.

“Free Fall” is an upper mid-tempo tune with a fast, (again) rhythmically challenging melody played in unison by trumpet and sax.  Aldana shows off her sterling technique here with quicksilver runs.  Au’s solo is probing and thoughtful.
“My Own World” starts with some exploratory a cappella improvising from Aldana and then moves into a slow, trudging melody (somewhat like Henry Mancini’s “Slow, Hot Wind”).  Aldana displays some excellent control over the saxophone in her exploratory solo here.
“Polyphemus” (Au’s third and last composition on the recording) is a mid-tempo tune with a clever, intricate melody.  After stating the theme, Aldana and Au trade fours and eventually improvise in duet.  They then repeat the melody, have another rousing duet improvisation, and close out with a final reading of the melody.
Aldana then throws us a curve with a straightforward reading of the standard, “I’ll Be Seeing You.”  She plays an impressive solo, very much in a Sonny Rollins mode.  Lepore gets in a lyrical bass solo.
The recording ends with “The L Line,” which is like a mini-suite, containing different tempos and some meterless sections in its melody.  Aldana solos on a slow section of the tune with an insistent bass line.  She again solos impressively, starting slowly and then flying over and around the slower tempo.  Au gets in a growling, swinging solo.
Second Cycle is a generous recording, at 74 minutes, with a focus on expansive improvisations from Au and especially Aldana, and the lack of a piano in the group really exposes their playing.  While both possess super chops, their improvising is primarily marked by care, patience, and intelligence.  Their playing fits together beautifully.  The compositions are generally interesting, particularly rhythmically and melodically.  Pederson is a very active, perceptive accompanist, but he and Lepore only get in one real solo each; I would have preferred a bit more improvisational economy from the horn players and more focus on the rhythm players for a better balance.  But overall, the music of Second Cycle is rich and engaging jazz and is admirable for its maturity, skill, and integrity.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Simple Beauty - Adam Larson

Simple Beauty begins with “The Vamp,” which is a brief, driving vamp with tenor sax, piano, bass, and drums in 3/8 time.  “Good Day Without You” transfers the vamp from the first cut to a lower mid-tempo 4/4 meter and adds to it an elegant, post-bop melody played by Larson on tenor and Nils Weinhold on guitar.  Larson then plays a lyrical solo, employing a big, clean sound and playing flowing, complex lines that remain firmly within the harmonic structure of the tune.  Then Can Olgun plays a solo on piano that consists mostly of single lines, somewhat in the style of Brad Mehldau.  Larson and Weinhold then play the melody again until just the vamp remains, over which bassist Raviv Markovitz plays a straightforward, melodic solo to the end of the cut. 

“Away Intro” is an a brief but strong a cappella improvisation from Larson on tenor, which leads to “Away,” one of the two tunes on the recording composed by Weinhold, the remainder having been written by Larson.  “Away” has a slow, pensive melody played in unison by tenor and guitar, with barely-there drumming from Jason Burger.  Then Weinhold plays a graceful solo with deliberate, simple lines free of technical flourishes.  Larson’s tenor solo has more intensity, and the rest of the group ramps up its intensity level as well.  The group preserves some of this passion during the final reading of the melody but then brings things down to quietly close the cut.  “Loophole” is a driving, mid-tempo tune with Olgun on electric piano, first playing a vamp and then a repeated melodic figure.  Then Larson and Weinhold play a complex melody in unison.  Larson brings to mind Michael Brecker’s creativity in his solo, rolling out one complex phrase after another, using the full range of the horn.  Weinhold plays another melodic solo, showing off some technical flash as well.  Larson and Weinhold then play the tune’s intricate melody to close the cut. 

“Simple Beauty” has Larson on soprano sax, displaying an attractive, full sound with heavy vibrato.  This is a slow-paced, balladic tune without any clear meter and with Markovitz laying out, giving the tune a lighter feel.  Larson starts out his solo with restrained phrases, then he adds some intensity to his lines and moves into the upper register of the soprano, and then he slows things down to end the cut.  “Odd Man Out” has Olgun on electric piano again, along with a hint of spacy guitar.  This is an upper mid-tempo tune in a subtle 5/4 meter.  Larson, back on tenor, and Weinhold are again in unison on a subdued melody, and this tune gets played out without improvisation.  “Strong Mind, Strong Body” is an upper mid-tempo tune with shifting meters, and guitar and tenor play the tricky melody.  Weinhold starts off the improvising with a technically accomplished but always musical solo.  Larson weaves a long, impressive solo, occasionally gliding with ease into and out of the altissimo register.  Olgun contributes a well-developed piano solo.  Then the drummer (I’m not sure if it’s Jason Burger or Guilhem Flouzat) gets the spotlight, merging his solo into the group’s vamp.  Larson plays the slow, pretty melody of “No Words” on tenor, employing plenty of vibrato, with Weinhold occasionally adding some spice with his quiet guitar.  The rest of the group blends in seamlessly during Larson’s gentle improvisation.  This cut really shows off the empathy of these players for each other.

“Tiny Conferences” is another delicate, meter-shifting, mid-tempo melody played in unison by Larson and Weinhold.  Olgun again plays a solo with controlled, Mehldau-like single lines.  Larson engages in some of his most intense playing on this cut, reminiscent of Michael Brecker’s rhapsodic playing on “Every Day (I Thank You)” from Pat Metheny’s 80/81 album.  The recording ends with “Song With a Bridge,” the second tune by Weinhold, which has Larson’s tenor accompanied by Weinhold on acoustic guitar, playing a slow, folk-ish melody, leaving off any improvising.   

Simple Beauty seems inspired by Pat Metheny/Michael Brecker collaborations, and it has a generally light feeling, largely due to understated drumming.  This debut recording reminds me of another debut recording, Geoff Vidal’s She Likes That, previously reviewed here on AJS.  The compositions of Simple Beauty are lighter and more streamlined than those of She Likes That, but both recordings feature guitarists prominently, and they are mainly showcases for the saxophonists.  Vidal and Larson have somewhat similar approaches to the tenor sax, displaying effortless virtuosity and endless inventiveness within tight harmonic constraints.  And both are very young.  On the strength of his debut recording, great things can be expected from Adam Larson.    

Monday, January 14, 2013

Test Your Jazz Tenor Sax Knowledge: Answers

Here are the answers to the previously posted blindfold test.  The 15 tenor sax players in the clips are:

1. Rich Perry - His CD "At The Kitano Vol. 2"
2. Ravi Coltrane - A Bootleg Recording from 2009
3. Joe Henderson - His CD "An Evening With Joe Henderson"
4. Bob Berg - A Bootleg "Chick Corea Quartet : Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich 14.7.1992"
5. Joel Frahm - Matthew Parris CD "Circles"
6. John Coltrane - Autorized Bootleg recording "Coast To Coast"
7. Sonny Rollins - Bootleg recording "Copenhagen '65"
8. Michael Brecker - Harald Haerter "Cosmic"
9. Eric Alexander - Bootleg recording "Ibiza Lounge Nov 18 2010"
10. Steve Grossman - His CD "Live At "THE SOMEDAY"
11. Hank Mobley - w/Wynton Kelly Trio "Live at The Left Bank Jazz Society Baltimore (Cd 2)"
12. David Liebman - His CD "Lookout Farm"
13. Mark Turner - Bootleg recording "Pizza Express, 1999"
14. Rick Margitza - His CD "Work It"
15. Chris Potter - Kasper Villaume CD "Hands"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Test Your Jazz Tenor Sax Knowledge

I ran across this item on the Facebook Saxophonists group page.  An active and excellent saxophonist and transcriptionist, Charles McNeal, put together fifteen 8-second clips of well-known jazz tenor saxophonists.  Charles also provides a list of 20 saxophonists, 15 of which are the players in the clips.  Try to see how many of the saxophonists you can identify.  It's not easy, particularly from just 8-second's worth of playing, but it's great fun.  I'll confess: I only got six out of fifteen right.  But I liked all the clips, and, though I'm familiar with all the players (not as familiar as I thought, apparently), I'm motivated to explore these players and particular recordings further as a result of hearing these clips.  I'll post the answers tomorrow.  If you can't wait, you'll have to check out Charles's post on the Facebook Saxophonists group page.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rhapsody's Jazz Critics Poll 2012

Well, I just ran across what will probably be AJS’s last foray into 2012 “best of” lists.  These are the results of Rhapsody’s Jazz Critics Poll for 2012.  Apparently they polled 119 jazz critics for their best jazz recordings of 2012 picks, and they compiled the results, which I've provided on the list below.  So if you slept through 2012, you can use this list to catch up on what’s been going on in jazz.  And get this: Rhapsody also published the top 10 picks of each critic!  All 119 of them!  So if you feel the need for more opinions on the top jazz recordings of 2012, click here and go wild. 

Rhapsody Jazz Critics' Poll 2012 results

1) Vijay Iyer Trio, Accelerando (ACT) 338.5 points (on 47 ballots)
2) Sam Rivers / Dave Holland / Barry Altschul, Reunion: Live in New York (Pi) 300.5 (44)
3) Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform) 279 (37)
4) Ryan Truesdell, Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans (ArtistShare) 172 (23)
5) Ravi Coltrane, Spirit Fiction (Blue Note) 132 (26)
6) Henry Threadgill Zooid, Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp (Pi) 128.5 (23)
7) Branford Marsalis Quartet, Four MFs Playin' Tunes (Marsalis Music) 121 (20)
8) Tim Berne, Snakeoil (ECM) 110 (17)
9) Steve Lehman Trio, Dialect Fluorescent (Pi) 100 (14)
10) Billy Hart, All Our Reasons (ECM) 89.5 (17)
11) Brad Mehldau Trio, Ode (Nonesuch) 88.5 (15)
12) Fred Hersch Trio, Alive at the Vanguard (Palmetto) 83 (13)
13) Ahmad Jamal, Blue Moon (JazzVillage) 79 (13)
14) Keith Jarrett / Jan Garbarek / Palle Danielsson / Jon Christensen, Sleeper: Tokyo, April 16, 1979 (ECM) 74.5 (10)
15) Anat Cohen, Claroscuro (Anzic) 69.5 (11)
16) Gregory Porter, Be Good (Motéma) 59 (10)
17) William Parker Orchestra, Essence of Ellington (AUM Fidelity) 50.5 (8)
18) Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Hot House (Concord) 50 (8)
19) (tie) Jacob Garchik, The Heavens: The Athiest Gospel Trombone Album (Yestereve) 49.5 (9)
19) (tie) Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron, Enfants Terribles (Half Note) 49.5 (9)
21) David Virelles, Continuum (Pi) 49.5 (8)
22) Dave Douglas Quintet, Be Still (Greenleaf) 49 (12)
23) Hafez Modirzadeh, Post-Chromodal Out! (Pi) 47 (10)
24) Bill Evans, Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate (Resonance) 48 (6)
25) Darius Jones Quartet, Book of Mae’Bul: Another Kind of Sunrise (AUM Fidelity) 47.5 (7)
26) Mary Halvorson Quintet, Bending Bridges (Firehouse) 12 46.5 (8)
27) Pat Metheny, Unity Band (Nonesuch) 46 (8)
28) John Abercrombie Quartet, Within a Song (ECM) 45 (11)
29) Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio (Blue Note) 45 (8)
30) Neneh Cherry & The Thing, The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Superjazz) 44.5 (7)
31) Kenny Garrett, Seeds from the Underground (Mack Avenue) 43.5 (8)
32) Living by Lanterns, New Myth/Old Science (Cuneiform) 43 (6)
33) Brad Mehldau, Where Do You Start (Nonesuch) 42.5 (10)
34) Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts, An Attitude for Gratitude (Palmetto) 42 (7)
35) Kurt Rosenwinkel, Star of Jupiter (Wommusic) 41 (6)
36) Omer Avital, Suite of the East (Anzic) 40 (6)
37) Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Live (ECM) 38.5 (7)
38) Ron Miles, Quiver (Enja/Yellowbird) 38 (8)
39) Jenny Scheinman, Mischief & Mayhem (Jenny Scheinman Music) 37 (6)
40) Jon Irabagon, Outright! Unhinged (Irabagast) 36.5 (7)
41) Hank Mobley, Newark 1953 (Uptown) 35 (4)
42) William Parker, Centering: Unreleased Early Recordings 1976-1987 (No Business) 34 (5)
43) Tom Harrell, Number Five (HighNote) 34 (4)
44) The Bad Plus, Made Possible (Entertainment One) 33 (9)
45) Chick Corea / Eddie Gomez / Paul Motian, Further Explorations (Concord Jazz) 33 (7)
46) Miguel Zenón & Laurent Coq, Rayuela (Sunnyside) 32.5 (7)
47) Jason Kao Hwang, Burning Bridge (Innova) 32.5 (4)
48) Matthew Shipp Trio, Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear) 32 (7)
49) Linda Oh, Initial Here (Greenleaf) 30.5 (7)
50) (tie) Josh Berman & His Gang, There Now (Delmark) 29 (7)
50) (tie) Orrin Evans, Flip the Script (Posi-Tone) 29 (7)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: Frame - Ben Wendel

Saxophonist Ben Wendel’s Frame was judged to be one of the best jazz CDs of 2012 on Peter Hum’s Ottawa Citizen Jazzblog, and I hadn’t previously heard any of Wendel’s work, so I thought I would give Frame a listen.

Frame begins with “Chorale,” which has a slow, regal theme played by tenor sax, piano, and guitar.  The solos begin with Gerald Clayton on piano and then Nir Felder on guitar, playing against-the-grain lines with a reverb-y sound.  Wendel then comes in for a tenor sax solo, employing a clean and light (but not weak) sound, playing lines that fit perfectly against the quiet backdrop of the ensemble.  “Clayland” begins with a disjointed theme, and then it moves into a second, more intricate theme.  Wendel performs an extended tenor solo, playing straightforward but interesting phrases and showing off good control of the altissimo register.  Clayton then plays a fluid solo.  The ensemble then repeats the two disparate themes for an uncluttered close to the cut.

Wendel then does a rendition of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma” with just himself on tenor and Gerald Clayton on piano.  Wendel sounds at first like Jan Garbarek, bending and sliding into notes and using a breathier tone.  In his solo, the warmth of his sound is more evident with just the piano for accompaniment, and he spins out swirling, complex lines (also reminiscent of Garbarek).  Clayton, in his solo, sounds like Keith Jarrett, with Jarrett’s flowing piano touch.  Wendel has subtly altered the tune’s harmony and adds his own little angular line, played in unison with Clayton, to close the tune.  This is a fresh and elegant version of “Con Alma,” sort of like “ECM meets Dizzy Gillespie,” so pretty it could fit in on a program of Christmas music.  At this point in the recording, you start to get a sense of Wendel’s maturity as a composer and a musician.  Next up is “Backbou,” which starts with a light, Caribbean feel, and has Wendel (on bassoon) and Felder playing the theme in unison.  Tigran Hamasyan plays a Chick Corea-ish solo.  Wendel improvises briefly on bassoon and then the ensemble puts together a strong section to finish the cut.    

Next up is “Jean and Renata,” which has the Wendel on tenor sax with just bass and drums.  The tune’s melody, taken at a mid-tempo, is very subtle, and Wendel seamlessly moves from the melody into his tenor sax improvisation, starting slowly, then increasing the intensity, easily sliding into and out of the altissimo and occasionally dipping into the bottom of the horn.  (An interesting aspect of Wendel’s improvising is that, though he is clearly in the spotlight, he also seems to remain part of the ensemble.  I think Wendel always has the big picture in mind.)  Nate Wood provides lively but unobtrusive accompaniment here on drums.  Wendel then states and plays around with the tune’s melody to close out the performance.  This is another nice break from the more composition-heavy cuts and highlights Wendel’s versatility.  Bassist Ben Street begins “Blocks” with a straightforward, musical solo against a repeated simple pattern of piano chords (which sounds a little like the background for a Billy Joel tune).  Wendel, on soprano sax this time, plays the slightly enigmatic melody in unison with Felder.  Improvising on soprano, as on tenor, he displays a clear, light sound and straightforward but still interesting phrasing.  Wendel then plays a line in unison with Felder’s lightly distorted guitar to close out the cut.

“Frame” has an complex theme, played at high speed by tenor sax and piano in unison.  Wendel plays a skillful, fleet solo with gliding lines and altissimo shrieks.  Hamasyan plays another Corea-ish solo.  Then there is some ensemble work during which Wood especially shines, and then the theme is played again along with some strong ensemble work to finish the performance.  “Leaving” is a pretty, though ambivalent, mid-tempo ballad.  Wendel plays a lyrical tenor solo free of flashy technique and clichés.  Next up is an impressionistic, nearly classical-sounding piano solo (though it isn’t clear from the personnel notes who the pianist is; Adam Benjamin, I think).  After the ensemble plays the melody again, Felder plays a slick guitar solo.  The recording ends with “Julia,” a slower song with a slightly melancholy melody, charming enough to deserve lyrics.  Wendel plays a brief, meandering tenor solo, and then there is an acoustic piano solo (Benjamin again, I think) that is mostly composed of chords.  Then Felder’s slightly distorted guitar sound and Wendel’s bassoon join the ensemble to end the cut.

It’s interesting to compare Frame to Donny McCaslin’s Casting for Gravity (reviewed previously here on AJS).  Both recordings attempt a kind of merger of jazz and pop, and, to my mind, Frame is more successful in this, having more imaginative and fresher compositions and arrangements than Casting and a better balance between composition and improvisation.  Wendel doesn’t display the sheer virtuosity on Frame that McCaslin does on Casting (though he is an excellent player), and Frame doesn’t achieve the intensity that Casting sometimes does, but I believe Frame presents a clearer and stronger musical vision.  I can see why Peter Hum put it on his list of the best jazz recordings of 2012.  If Frame is any indication, Ben Wendel is bound to be one of the movers and shakers of jazz in the years to come.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: Hart-beat - Stephen Riley

Stephen Riley’s Hart-beat has gotten some acclaim, having attained a four-star review in 2012 in Downbeat magazine.  The recording is comprised of standards and well-established jazz tunes.  It begins with “Just You Just Me,” and Riley plays this one a cappella through its entire length.  Riley plays with a big, breathy, old-fashioned sound, though one of its striking characteristics is its low volume; Riley consistently plays softly, though he still conveys fullness in his tone, like he’s using every square inch of the horn.  His phrasing on this first tune is primarily in early Sonny Rollins territory, very bop-ish, and his skillful phrasing easily holds the listener’s interest even without accompaniment. 

“Isotope,” Joe Henderson’s tune, is next up, and after a quick a cappella statement of the melody, Riley is joined by his regular partners on this recording, Neil Caine on bass and Billy Hart on drums.  Riley sounds here like the early Joe Henderson, employing edgier phrasing than on the previous cut, though, again, at a softer volume.   (Of course, Henderson was never exactly a “shouter” on the sax.)  After a fleet and melodic Caine solo, Riley trades fours with Hart.  Then comes “Lonnie’s Lament,” beginning with a strumming intro from Caine by himself.  Riley takes Coltrane’s song at a nonchalant middle tempo, making the tune sound truly like a lament; there’s no self-pity, just a bland acceptance of sadness, and it’s a very effective approach.  It strikes me that this treatment of “Lonnie’s Lament” would be good accompaniment for a modern dance piece.  Riley again sounds a lot like Joe Henderson, employing fast phrases, trills, and upper register cries.  Caine plays another artful a cappella solo, and the group restates the theme, this time without meter, an even wearier capitulation to grief (though there seems to be a touch of defiance in Hart’s drumming).

Things lighten up with a strolling “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” something that would have fit well on a Scott Hamilton recording.  For this older-style, swinging tune, Riley is once again in Rollins mode, and the cut is simply comprised of Riley’s opening statement of the melody, his solo, and his closing statement of the melody.   Then the group takes on Monk’s “Ba-Lou Bolivar Ba-Lous-Are,” a bouncy blues along the lines of “Billie’s Bounce.”  Riley plays a swaggering, playful solo.  Caine takes a solo, lighthearted as well, then Riley and Hart trade fours again, the saxophonist and drummer really working well together.  Next up is the lovely song “The End of a Love Affair,” which the group takes as a slow ballad, Hart on brushes and Riley coaxing breathy, melancholy notes out of his saxophone, virtually channeling a quiet Sonny Rollins.  Caine adds a brief, relaxed solo before Riley plays the melody and a brief cadenza to end the cut. 

Then Riley takes on “Mr. Sandman” (yes, that “Mr. Sandman”) solely as a duet with Caine, beginning with a strumming intro from the bassist and moving into Riley’s strolling, swinging statement of the melody.  Riley this time sounds a lot like Stan Getz, his quiet tone used to great advantage with just the bass as accompaniment.  Caine really shines in his unaccompanied solo, using double stops, strumming, and bluesy lines.  This duet works very well and suggests that Riley could easily pull off an album with just himself and a bass player.

The group then does a hazy, dreamy version of Henderson’s “Black Narcissus,” Riley playing swirling phrases, Caine then digging in for a serious solo.  Riley and Caine then play the melody in unison, and Riley adds a bit more Henderson-like trilling to close the cut.  The recording ends with a fast version of “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm.”  Riley fires off clipped and longer phrases in his solo, and then trades fours again with Hart before playing an abrupt closing statement of the melody. 

I think Greg Simmons hits the nail on the head in his review of Hart-beat in All About Jazz when he notes that it brings to mind Sonny Rollins’s Way Out West and Joe Henderson’s The State of the Tenor, both pivotal tenor sax/bass/drums recordings.  The overall feel of Hart-beat, being so understated, is more like Henderson’s recording, but Riley’s phrasing and energy are more frequently like Rollins, though Rollins playing like he’s trying not to disturb the neighbors.  Riley’s approach on Hart-beat is firmly oriented toward the past, somewhat like Scott Hamilton’s music, but Rollins and Henderson deserve this kind of veneration, especially since Riley does it so well and with such integrity.  In my view, Hart-beat has earned its Downbeat four stars and then some.