||Jon Hazilla - Tiny Capers
DTRCD - 180
Bruce Barth - Piano, John Lockwood - Bass, Jon Hazilla - Drums
1. Vernell 5:43 Hazilla
2. Hello Young Lovers 7:18 Rogers
3. Tiny Capers 6:27 Brown
4. Saindo 4:57 Hazilla
5. Tivolli 4:47 Gordon
6. Fractals 3:42 Hazilla
7. Paper Moon 5:37 Arlen
8. Footprints 4:27 Shorter
9. Misty Night/Lights are Low 6:45 Dameron/Carter
I first heard Bruce Barth as a sideman on Greg Skaff’s debut recording for Double Time Records about five years ago. At the time, Skaff mentioned that Barth had pushed him hard musically on the date and that some of the melodies were very tricky and uptempo. Barth blazed through them like he had played them a hundred times. Since that time Barth has recorded three leader dates for us and many sideman appearances. Musically he has grown like few others today and you can see that in his writing on Bruce Gertz’s - Shut Wide Open Dtrcd-132 recording. The Revolving Door, Barth’s writing contribution on that date is, simply put, a masterpiece. That brings us to this date, which when I first heard it I fell in love with the simplistic even flowing sounds of joy that these musicians are able to produce. It reminds me very much of the great Bill Evans trio sessions from the 50’s and early 60’s. The interplay between the three musicians presented here is highly reminisent of Bill’s early trios. There is no doubt that this recording, in all it’s beauty, will go down in jazz’s history as one of “The” albums to have in any collection.
Jamey D. Aebersold
This is my 5th recording as a leader. It represents not so much my past or future... but more of present. It reveals a recommitment to piano and composition, and a stronger blend of ensemble( trio) interplay with an accent on arrangments. I’ve always given a “RITARD” for reflection in selecting compositions that tell a story like a book flowing from chapter to chapter transporting the reader from one place to another with a curiosity to continue in search of what lies ahead.
Having the content for the CD I lacked a title tune until this summer when I met and played a heavenly concert with Benny Golson in Italy, and he introduced me to “TINY CAPERS”. I instantly loved the quirky title, wondering what Clifford had in mind. The simple playful melody spoke to me and I was quite sure it was never recorded in a trio context...“TINY CAPERS” was now complete...
I would like to thank Garrison Fewell, Greg Burk, Mamoru Sakata, Peter Kontrimas, Jamey D. Aebersold, Ed Saindon, Benny Golson, Eric Jackson, Jerry and his staff at Washington Square Tavern, my wife Judy for her continual love and support, my family, and John and Bruce for their great playing, inspiration and musical input... Peace and love to all.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed” - Mahatma Gandhi
Vernell is a nice, funky, original tune with a Poinciana-like groove in tribute to Vernell Fournier. At times, Jon sounds like he’s playing a kettle drum. Bassist John Lockwood’s solo is singable and swinging. Listen to Hazilla’s melodic drum work! Bruce Barth’s piano solo is uplifting! This trio is tight!
Hello Young Lovers is a dedication to one of Jon’s early mentors Jaki Byard who he met at New England Conservatory, where Jon held the drum chair for 4 years in Jaki’s Apollo Stompers weekly hit at Michaels Pub. Hello Young Lovers is played as a samba. Notice Hazilla’s use of cymbals, especially the syncopated hi-hats on the outro... a la ‘Roy’ Fine stuff!
Clifford Brown’s Tiny Capers receives a pretty and gentle treatment. Jon is a drummer who doesn’t try to overpower you with force and energy yet his playing always seems to be so imaginative. Light and delicate, but always on the job!
Saindo is a blues, just straight ahead medium tempo blowing from a funky tight trio. I wonder what they would sound like after playing together nightly, like a regular working band? The fact that they sound so tight here is a tribute to the high level of musicianship they each brought to the date.
Tivolli is one of Jon’s favorite ballads. Hazilla colors the music with a flutter and flicker on the snare, coaxing even more colors, he dances on the cymbals. It’s a great showcase for his sensitive brush playing.
Fractals is an original composition based on the chord changes to Gershwin’s I’ve Got Rhythm. The structure of the tune is built like the title. Full speed ahead! Hazilla and the trio show they are comfortable playing at any tempo. Speaking of tempo, the tune shifts tempo as the fractals seem to come and go.
The displacement of rhythm underneath the melody of It’s Only A Paper Moon serves as a backdrop for Jon’s melodic brush solo. Pianist Bruce Barth takes another great solo.
Footprints, Wayne Shorter’s classic, is performed as a duet. The duo weaves their musical lines together wonderfully. Again Hazilla’s melodic side shows through as Jon is often involved in a call and response with Bruce.
The trio performs 2 classic jazz tunes written by 2 of jazz’s master composers, Tadd Dameron’s On A Misty Night and Benny Carter’s When Lights Are Low as counterpoint. Lockwood states the melody to When Lights Are Low before settling into a comfortable walking pace. A leisurely walk on a Misty Night is taken by Barth. Lockwood returns for a bass solo.
Down through the years, the role of the drummer in jazz has changed tremendously. Coming from marching bands, the music often used the bass drum for time keeping, which was the main job of the drummer. Through the years the time keeping role shifted to the hi-hat and then to what’s called the ride cymbal. Bop drummers took a different approach as they not only kept time but they also “commented” on the music with their kicks, accents, bombs and other sounds. They colored the music with their rolls and simmering cymbals. That freedom continued to increase for drummers. Jon Hazilla is a product of that freedom. That change in the music allowed drummers to be active participants in the music and not just time keepers. Thank goodness for progress! Thank goodness for Jon Hazilla!
Eric Jackson - WGBH