[JPL] Music Review | 'Bobby Hutcherson Quartet'

r durfee rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 20 13:27:49 EST 2006

November 16, 2006
Music Review | 'Bobby Hutcherson Quartet'
Taking Hold of Jazz Standards and Twisting Them Gently

Bobby Hutcherson, who is 65, comes from the generation
of players who grew up on standards as living songs,
not as classical repertory, and yet were brave enough
to turn them inside out. 

On Tuesday at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, where he will
play with his quartet through this weekend, Mr.
Hutcherson seemed to do this several times during an
early set. But they were extremely soft
transformations. Much is made of the fact that Mr.
Hutcherson’s vibraphone was a key ingredient on some
fairly advanced, conceptually challenging jazz records
of the early 1960s, by Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill,
Jackie McLean and others. 

Now he seems more interested in a kind of emotional
transparency within the mainstream jazz tradition,
with the concepts moved to the rear. He’s located the
voluptuous qualities of his instrument — with him you
experience the note itself much more than the striking
of metal — and his playing communicates the joy of
singing, not the rigor of drumming. 

The set opened with a new uptempo piece, “Teddy,” and
his rhythm section — the pianist Renee Rosnes, the
bassist Dwayne Burno and the drummer Al Foster —
cracked it open a little bit. Especially Mr. Burno,
who came up with all kinds of patterns to avoid an
even, walking line, and Mr. Foster, who put minute
hesitations into his subrhythms. 

But the ballads really demonstrated Mr. Hutcherson’s
skill: versions of “What Are You Doing the Rest of
Your Life” and “(I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons.”
Slowly, thinking through each phrase, he let notes
ring for a long time, moving his hand to dampen
various keys, narrowing the sound of the chord and
changing harmonies. He didn’t use musical quotations
and didn’t play anything that sounded like a lick; it
was clear that he was listening to his music as sound,
and as potential for beauty.

The Bobby Hutcherson Quartet continues through Sunday
night at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Frederick P. Rose
Hall, Broadway at 60th Street; (212) 258-9595.


Roy Durfee
P.O. Box 40219
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com

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