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Britain's renowned bassist Geoff Gascoyne, with help from Tom Cawley - piano, Sebastiaan de Krom - drums, is the first serving on tonight's jazz menu. The trio covers Dizzy Gillespie's standard "Con Alma" from Geoff's tenth outing as a leader, That Sunday, released this year. New from ACT Music we get the bass, tenor and drums trio: Danielsson/Nesset/Lund's Sun Blowing covering Don Grolnick's "The Cost of Living." Hampton Hawes Trio follows with their take on Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses" from the 1965 Contemporary Here and Now. Chuck Israels (b) and Donald Bailey (d) round out the trio. Columbia's 1966 Miles Smiles, one of my all-time favorites, wraps up this half with their up-tempos treatment of Jimmy Heath's "Ginger Bread Boy." Miles' third great quintet features Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and the blazing drums of Tony Williams. Hancock's solo is unique with his left hand tied behind his back.
Joe Henderson gets the second half started with his 1993 Polygram So Near, So Far. Wildly popular in the 60s post bop era, the fifty-six year old saxophonist demonstrates his continuing bona fides covering Miles' "Circle" with help from notables John Scofield (g), Dave Holland (b) and Al Foster (d). Newcomer Jeff Denson Quartet follows with a performance of his unique idea of a "Circle" from his 2016 Ridgeway Records' Concentric Circles. The forty year-old American bassist's group includes Dan Zemelman (p) Alan Hall (d) and the unique voicings of Paul Hanson's bassoon. The highly regarded Matija Dedic/Larry Grenadier/Jeff Ballard trio is next tackling Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" from the 2009 From the Beginning. Satoh Masahiko Trio returns with uncharacteristic Japanese jazz whimsy with their upside-down take on the previous track, retitling and reworking the Ellington tune into "Interlude to a Kiss" from the 2016 BAJ Records' Hyojun Gigaku.
Eerily similar to the 1959 Shostakovich: Cello Concerto n.1 op.107 - 1st movement and its jazz proclivities, we get Henrik Schwarz with the Radio String Quartet performing Debussy's String Quartet (Assez Vif Et Bien Bien Rythmé), the second movement conceived circa 1893, similar in its approach to Shostakovich's work. It sounds like jazz to me, exciting considering that when we think of Debussy, the classic " Clair de Lune " comes to mind. Corey Kendrick Trio follows with Kendrick's "Julian's Tune," a title I'm guessing is a reference to the late Cannonball Adderly. Nick Bracewell (d) and Joe Vasquez (b) round out the trio from KARI-ON Productions' 2016 Rootless. Tori Freestone Trio returns with the title track from her 2016 Whirlwind Recordings' El Barranco. Tenor saxophonist Tori's group includes Dave Manington (b) and Tim Giles (d). New to the show from his 2016 Inner Circle Music release, Lefteris Kordis' Mediterrana (Goddess of Light), follows with a sensitive cover of Paul McCartney's "And I Love Her."
Although jazz is generally about love and loss, the Romantic Half-Hour has become an increasingly popular segment of the Thin Edge. Let's keep that loving feeling growing with newcomer Alison Lewis and her 2016 KARI-ON Production's Seven in which she interprets Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine," a tune that seems more palatable coming from a female vocalist. "Your looks are laughable, unphotographable . . . " are lyrics a man would think twice before saying to his sweetheart. From Chet Baker's 1958 Riverside Chet we get his take on Dietz and Schwartz's "You and the Night and the Music." The all-star lineup includes Bill Evans (p), Herbie Mann (fl), Pepper Adams (bs) and Kenny Burrell (g). Memphis born Beau Davidson, new to the show, follows with his take on Billy Joel's "She's Got a Way" from his 2016 Rainbow Management Talent The American Gentleman. Madeleine Peyroux returns with her new Pennywell Productions' Secular Hymns in a performance of her "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky." All the way from Holladay Farms' Jules, we get the correct version (according to her) of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," this time from Diana Krall's 1999 GRP Why Should I Care. The inimitable Nnenna Freelon closes this intimate half-hour with a cover of Billie Holiday's "Now or Never" from her 2005 Concord Blueprint of a Lady. Brandon McCune (p), Julian Lage (g), Dave Ellis (ts) and Christian Scott (tp) underpin the performance.
Let's have some fun!
Thanks to Music Director Serah and friends around the world for the program's content.