Posts Tagged ‘Bill Carrothers’

On Dave King

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

This review appears in the December 2012 issue of The New York City Jazz Record.

Dave King
I’ve Been Ringing You (Sunnyside)

By David R. Adler

Trios loom large in drummer Dave King’s career: consider two of his best-known musical endeavors, the Bad Plus and Happy Apple. The piano, too, is central to King’s identity as a player and composer, and it’s not just his hookup with the Bad Plus’s Ethan Iverson that bears this out. Indelicate (2010), King’s debut under his own name, revealed the drummer to be a pianist himself, and the resulting overdubbed piano-drum pieces were fresh and unexpected. King also played some piano on his 2011 quintet follow-up Good Old Light by the Dave King Trucking Company.

There’s one other obscure piano item in King’s oeuvre, a 2005 Fresh Sound trio date under pianist Bill Carrothers’ name called Shine Ball, with Gordon Johnson on bass. Wholly improvised, the session catches King and Carrothers in moments of volatility and moody reflection. On I’ve Been Ringing You, they reunite (with Billy Peterson on bass) to play repertoire of a very different kind, along the lines of “So In Love,” “If I Should Lose You,” “People Will Say We’re In Love” and “This Nearly Was Mine.” Carrothers makes the melodies sing out, pure and distinct, but somehow transforms each song into a ghostly unresolved riddle.

The opener is Gordon Jenkins’ “Goodbye,” a dark ballad, stretched by King’s trio into a slow and hazy rubato meditation. The transition to Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” is natural — open and spacious to start, more aggressive as it develops. “I’ve Been Ringing You,” the closing track, is an original trio improvisation marked by Carrothers’ steady block chords, King’s slow brush patterns, and Peterson’s perfectly timed ascending notes in response.

King’s subtle shifts of timbre and momentum are all the more engrossing for being so beautifully captured (the album was recorded at “a little church in Minnesota,” per the album credits). We can hear the leader shift in his seat, flick on his snares, swipe his hands or other objects across the skins and create worlds of intimate detail. The big piano sound brings every lingering nuance of Carrothers’ harmonies into striking relief.

Six Picks: July 2012

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

My monthly list of recommended CDs, as published in The New York City Jazz Record, July 2012:

Bill Carrothers, Family Life (Pirouet)

Darius Jones, Book of Mae’bul: Another Kind of Sunrise (Aum Fidelity)

Branford Marsalis Quartet, Four MF’s Playing Tunes (Marsalis Music)

Bob Mintzer Big Band, For the Moment (MCG)

Aruán Ortiz, Santiarican Blues Suite (Sunnyside)

Jesse Stacken, Bagatelles for Trio (Fresh Sound New Talent)