Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Second Essay on Jazz

[As the date of the concert suggests, this should have been posted weeks ago.]


Ron Carter—bass
Russell Malone—guitar
Mulgrew Miller—piano
Theater Basel, March 26, 2007

What makes jazz jazz is often unrecorded
or, if it gets recorded, undernoticed.
When Miller lays his left hand on his lap
to let his right hand play around alone
(Malone and Carter laying out for him),
before, beyond, his virtuosity—
the simplicity of melody!
And not Malone's dexterity—the speed
of breakneck runs that segue into octaves,
the complex lines atop his chordal solos—
instead his strumming for a half a chorus
of just one chord with half a melody
worked out within it by his middle finger
while Carter meddles with his walking bass
with dropped-in double stops each sliding down
a tone, a minor third, a major third,
without the slightest lessening of swing.
Arrangements, solos, comping, interplay—
but what makes great jazz great? The little things.

1 comment:

jazzylover59 said...

Hello Andrew,

I discovered this Essay on Jazz in one of my searches on Russell Malone (I think). It may have also showed up in one of my google alerts on Mr. Malone. Thank you for a lovely poem. I have forwarded it to Russell. This is a very intersting thing to know -- that fans are creatively expressing themselves after what you evidently deemed an amazing jazz concert experience. I hope to see this particular trio configuation in the US soon. They more often are in Europe. Can you tell me more about the concert experence? Feel free to email me. Kandie Webster jazzylover59@yahoo.com.