Stan Tracey Duo/Trio - Sound Check - 2cd set
This might well be Stan Tracey's best collection in years, which –
considering he's now negotiated 84 of them – is a testament to the
British piano master's restlessly sparky imagination and even sparkier
Half of this double album features drummer Clark Tracey and
bassist Andrew Cleyndert, on a very familiar trio menu of originals and
assorted Ellington and Monk classics – but though it's the usual expert
solos-in-turn swing-to-bop exercise, accounts of Lil Ol' Pottsville,
Chelsea Bridge or Blue Monk seem even more focused than usual, and the
cohesiveness, dynamics and fluency of the leader's improvisations make
them memorable even by his standards.
But it's the impromptu duo
encounter featuring simply the two Traceys on piano and drums – a warmup
exercise they've often privately explored but never recorded – that
really marks this venture out.
Stabby Ellingtonian piano chords ring out
over snickety snare-drum patterns, rumbly tom-tom figures underpin
playful peckings at notes, liquid ballad intros become chord-sweeping
swaggers, and then return to meditation.
It's a wonderful improvised
dialogue, and reveals percussion resources not all of Clark Tracey's
observers might have appreciated he has.
John Fordham - Guardian UK
This 2-CD set by the legendary British jazz pianist Stan Tracey
features brand new recordings by Tracey and his regular rhythm section -
Clark Tracey on drums and Andrew Cleyndert on bass.
The first CD of features Tracey with just
his son Clark Tracey, which is the first time they have recorded in a
duet format. The duo has improvised a set of spontaneous originals with
quirky and humorous titles such as "Stick Chops", "Statin Doll" and
The second CD features the trio which
performs a set of classic jazz standards that showcase Stan's unique
style of playing, influenced by Ellington and Monk but now completely
his own. Having played together for over 15 years the three musicians
demonstrate an incredible mutual empathy while each still retaining
their strong, virtuosic individuality.
Personnel: Stan Tracey (piano), Clark Tracey (drums), Andrew Cleyndert (double bass on CD2)