A famous composition teacher in New York City noticed that one of his students was more concerned with telling people he was a composer than writing music. So he took his student aside and said "You know, in this world there are people called composers, and there are those who write music."
A week later, the student showed up for his lesson wearing an ascot and cape and brandishing a cane in his hand!
There won't be any chance of misunderstanding the music on this recording. There is no posturing by these guys. They won't try to make you think they're great musicians. They ARE great musicians.
Jerry's background is well documented elsewhere, but to
recapitulate briefly for those readers discovering his music for the first
That's the way it went all night. Hannibal would play the head with Jerry playing counter lines and playing any parts of the melodies he could memorize on the spot. He played that whole first night of the gig totally by ear on those difficult tunes that he had never seen or heard before. And he sounded great!
The way Jerry played that night was amazing and it is a testimonial to his mastery. The only thing that might be more amazing is that Roy knew Jerry could do it without ever hearing him before!
Those of you who have heard the first recording of this group, Just Within, Dtrcd-127, will not be surprised when you hear the intensity with which these guys create music. Dan Wall and Adam Nussbaum are two of the most important players in New York. Everybody wants to work with them. As soloists they leave nothing to be desired and they are the perfect foils for Jerry's explorations.
All of the tunes except the standard "Have Your Met Miss Jones?" are composed by Jerry. "The Tomb" features an Arabic percussion groove by Adam. The melody is stated by Jerry and features a 3+3+2 rhythmic pattern. During Jerry's solo, Adam moves the pattern to 2+3+3 and 3+2+3 while maintaining the straight-eighths back-beat feel. Dan's solo starts sparsely, and with Adam's increasing layering of poly-rhythms, leads back to the head.
"Different Places Together" has a Brazilian flavor and it's offered here in two takes which makes for some interesting comparisons. Dan's beautiful intro begins the first version and Jerry states the theme. Dan takes the first solo of block chords and blues-inflected lines. Notice the variety of Adam's brush patterns here. He switches to sticks when Jerry enters for an interesting solo that has some various shades of blue set in relief from the "double-time" sections. I like the "additive-time" sections where he floats across the rhythm section and I'm glad they kept the B-flat major 7th to E-flat 7th ending on both tracks.
"Sound Advice" is a medium tempo swinger. After Jerry plays the head, Dan solos. Check out Adam's cymbal work. It's a lesson in variety while keeping things burning. Dan's solo features some nice "across-the-bar" phrasing and also great motific development mixed with blues. Jerry enters with his own three-note motives played across the time and then builds to a frenetic pitch.
"Lost in the Shuffle" is aptly titled. You'll hear the super imposition of a straight eight and sixteenth groove over the "shuffle" pattern. I'm sure you'll have fun listening to this on many levels while checking out the great solos by all three participants.
"Invisible Light" is a ballad that features some nice timbre changes by Jerry. He can almost sound like he's playing a brass instrument at times. Dan's comping here is a real treat and his solo features some nice voicing support under his lines. Adam, of course, is the perfect example of good taste.
"Simultaneous Looks" displays Adam's "back-beats" using cymbals and it's one of my favorite things on this track. Dan keeps everything sane while Jerry and Adam are free to have a lively conversation. The organ-drum duet that follows, while more "polite", still burns with intensity. Jerry enters to cook a little more until the fade-out.
"Windprint" is in "seven", and the phrasing is 4+2+1 a great deal
of the time, which gives it a Balkan-Jamaican feel. It's played so slickly
that many listeners probably won't notice it's in "seven".
The second track of "Different Places Together" has Adam playing brushes during Jerry's statement of the melody. This leads to Dan's solo which features some antiphonal effects between his comping and lines. Jerry's solo features great "double-time" lines.
For the closing tune we are treated with an alternate take of "Invisible Light". We hear an exceptional organ intro by Dan which sets the mood perfectly for Jerry's ballad solo. Both of these alternate takes are more than worthy of inclusion on this recording and each version has it's own unique vibe.
By the way, I should mention that Roy Haynes paid Jerry a great
compliment during that aforementioned gig. He said "Call me when you move
to New York."
Charlie Banacos - Oct. 1998Special thanks to Bill Kirchner