Monday, June 30, 2014

Notes on Jazz Fifth Annual Living Legends of Jazz Celebration

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Roy Haynes photo Fran Kaufman

Once again Notes on Jazz is proud to carry on its tradition of compiling and publishing the annual "Fourth of July Living Legend of Jazz" feature. This is the fifth such compilation, a yearly reminder and a joyful celebration of the artistry and longevity of jazz artists that have been living in our midst. Every year we are surprised at some familiar new members who have entered into the ranks of the Living Legends. The criteria is simple,  induct any musician, working or retired who has reached their seventieth birthday and has contributed to the canon of the music, keeping the spirit and tradition of the music alive. Artists need not be popular or internationally recognized, but in their own way each one added to the canon of music.

The list is organic and ever-changing like the music. Sadly, since last year, ,we have continued to lose some of these great artists to the vagaries of time. With due respect, we take a moment to document and recognize their passing. Their spirit lives on in everyone who has ever had the privilege of hearing them play; either in live performance or on recordings. The passing of some truly venerable legends include musicians, performers, innovators, teachers, producers and mentors who made an indelible mark on society at large and on the music in particular. Some were famous, some infamous and all will be missed.
Jim Hall by Fran Kaufman
Some of the musicians we lost from the fraternity of Jazz Legends since last year include some elder statesmen as well as some who passed before their time. Perhaps one of the youngest we lost was the great pianist and educator Mulgrew Miller who left us at the young age of fifty seven. 
Two guitarists that were not necessarily jazz players but who influenced other players with their unique styles; Alvin Lee (68) of the band "Ten Years After" wowed audiences with his speedy lines and  guitarist/vocalist  J.J. Cale (74) famous for his song "Cocaine" passed prematurely this year. The keyboard wizard and funk master George Duke, (67) was also lost this year along with several Blues players; bassist Jackie Lomax famous for his work with the Beatles (69) , velvet voiced vocalist Robert Calvin aka Bobby "Blue" Bland  (82) and guitarist Morris Holt aka " Magic Slim" all left us this past year.  The beautiful Brazilian stylist Oscar Castro-Neves, often considered co founder with Jobim of the Bossa nova style, passed at age (73.) The ranks of world class flutists was decimated this year with he loss of flutist Sam Most (82), the great Frank Wess (91) and Yusef Lateef, an originator of the world music movement. s


Yusef Lateef

 Others lost this year include singer/ songwriter, Bobby Womack  and session guitarist, famous for his work with Steely Dan among others, Hugh McCracken both 70, trombonist Wayne Henderson was 73,  bassist Butch Warren who was 74, saxophonists Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre 77, drummer Donald "Duck" Bailey, pianists Bengt Hallberg 82 and Frank Strazzeri 84, two legendary saxophonists Herb Geller 85 and Med Flory 87, pianist Boyd Lee Dunlop 88 , drummer Al Harewood 88 and  Paul T. Smith along with the trombone of Paul Tanner 95 who was with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Duke Ellington vocalist Herb Jeffries who was 100.  
Horace Silver
The world became a less creative place when we lost the talented pianist Cedar Walton at 79, the funky trumpet of Donald Byrd at 80, the sensitive nuanced  guitar of Jim Hall at the age of 83, the Canadian Vibraphonist Peter Appleyard at 84,  the soulful piano of Horace Silver at the age of 85, the high pitched vocals of "Little" Jimmy Scott at 88,  Trumpeter Joe Wilder at 91, the catchy rhythms of drummer Forestrom "Chico" Hamilton at the age of 92, the Latin sounds of pianist/arranger Bebo Valdes at 94 or the elegant and intelligent charm of  pianist Marian McPartland,  who was 95. 
Marian McPartland photo Fran Kaufman




"Little Jimmy Scott
The music has proven time and again that despite losing its legends to the inevitable vagaries of time, it is a durable art form. As some pass through, there are always others who enter our world introducing new ideas and fresh musical concepts. The music continues to expand, thriving with every generation. New musicians create from the path laid down by those who have blazed it before them ensuring that the music, however mutated it becomes, still is built on the bones of  the  tradition.
I continue to believe that jazz is an art form that has become the most internationally cooperative means of communication in the world today. As artists and listeners alike have found out it can be a tremendously spiritual medium allowing us to transcend everyday life with beauty and connectivity.
On this Fourth of July, let our passion for the music continue with this yearly celebration of these communicators, those who have been and continue to be so instrumental in bringing us this music we love so much.
Here is my expanded list of veteran players, all at least 70 years of age, who in some way helped shape the music with my usual caveat, I am sure to have missed some worthy contributors, to those I apologize in advance for any inadvertent omissions. This is the fifth year I have complied Please comment and add names if you find someone missing.  Finally a great big thank you to each and every one of this year's celebrants who have made my life so much more richer for having experienced the beauty of their art.
LIVING JAZZ LEGENDS: July 4, 2014

George Coleman photo Lena Adasheva
Saxophonists/Reed Instruments:

Evan Parker, Pat LaBarbera, Gianluigi Trovesi and Arthur Doyle (70), Maceo Parker (71), Eddie Daniels, clarinet and saxophone (72); Pharaoh Sanders, Gary Bartz, Peter Brotzmann, Roscoe Mitchell and Bennie Maupin (73); Charles Brackeen, Arthur Bythe, Hamiet Bluiett, Wilton Felder, Joe McPhee, Charles McPherson, Carlos Ward, Paul Winter and Lew Tabackin (74); Odean Pope, Zibigniew Namyslowski, Charles Gayle, Sonny Fortune and George Braith (75)
Gunter Hampel, James Spaulding, Charles Lloyd, Carlos Garnett, Joseph Jarman (76); Archie Shepp, Nathan Davis, Frank Strozier and Jim Galloway (77); Klaus ,Doldinger, Gary N. Foster and Don Menza (78); Giuseppi Logan, Jimmy Woods, Houston Person, George Coleman and Bunky Green (79); Lanny Morgan, John  Handy III and Wayne Shorter (80); Sadao Watanabe, Charlie Davis, and Gato Barbieri  (81); Phil Woods and Plas Johnson Jr.(82); Sonny Rollins (83); Ornette Coleman and Gabe Baltazar (84); Joe Temperley, Harold Ousley, Herb Geller and Benny Golson (85); Carl Janelli, Lee Konitz and Bob Wilber (86); Bilory, Lou Donaldson and Jimmy Heath (87); Marshall Allen (90); Jay McNeeley, (92);  Harold Joseph "Hal" "Cornbread" Singer (94); Fred Staton (99).
Charles McPherson photo  Fran Kaufman




Fred Staton  photo Ralph A. Miriello

Dick Hyman photo Fran Kaufman
Pianists and Keyboards:
McCoy Tyner photo Lena Adasheva
George Cables, Monty Alexander,  Jan Fryderyk Dobrowski, Keith Emerson, Chris Stainton and Bobo Stenson ( 70), Kenny Barron, Mike Ratledge, Dave Greenslade and Ben Sidran (71);Masabumi Kikuchi Connie Crothers, Stanley Cowell, Armando "Chick" Corea, Mike Nock, Sergio Mendes, Irene Sweizer and David Burrell (73), Herbie Hancock, Bob James and Roger Kellaway (74), McCoy Tyner, Mike Longo, Joe Sample, Gap Mangione, Joanne Brackeen and Warren Bernhardt (75); Denny Zeitlin, Steve Kuhn and John Coates Jr. (76); Eddie Palmieri and Kirk Lightsey (77); Les McCann, Carla Bley and Harold Mabern (78); Ramsey Lewis, Pat Rebillot, Ran Blake,Don Friedman, Oliver Jones, Ellis Marsalis Jr. and Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Dave Grusin and Misha Mengelberg (79); Pat Moran (McCoy)  (80); Paul Bley and Larry Novak (81);Jack Reilly, Derek Smith and Michel LeGrand (82); Muhal Richard Abrams and Horace Parlan (83); Amhad Jamal, Frank Strazzeri, Claude Bolling, Barry Harris and Toshiko Akiyoshi (84); Cecil Taylor, and Junior Mance (85); Freddie Redd, Martial Solal, Richard Wyands and Mose Allison (86); Dick Hyman and Claude Williamson (87); Randy Weston  (88); Reynold "Zeke" Mullins and Barbara Carroll (89); Marty Napoleon (93)


Chick Corea photo Ralph A. Miriello

Bassists:

Ron Carter photo Ralph A. Miriello

Harvey Brooks,Rufus Reid  and George Mraz (70), Jack Bruce (71); Charles "Buster" Williams (72); Glen Moore and Steve Swallow (73);  Don Thompson and Eberhard Weber (74); Mario Pavone (75); Larry Ridley,  and Charlie Haden (76); Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, Chuck Berghofer, and Chuck Israels (77); Buell Nedlinger and Henry Grimes (78); Gary Peacock and Cecil McBee (79); Bob Cranshaw and Jack Six (81); Ron Crotty and Richard Davis (85); Bill Crow (86); Jymie Merritt (88); Eugene "The Senator" Wright (91); Howard Rumsey (96); Coleridge Goode (99).

Buster Williams photo Lena Adasheva
Trumpet/Cornet/ Flugelhorn:
Kenny Wheeler

Lew Soloff,  Charles Sullivan and Jay Saunders and Jimmy Owens (70)  Michael Mantler (71); Charles Tolliver (72); Eddie Henderson, Palle Mikkelborg and Chuck Mangione (73); Enrico Rava (74); Marvin Stamm and Hugh Masekela (75); Guido Basso (76); Ed Polcer (77); Bobby Bradford (79); Jack Sheldon and Dusko Gojkovic (82); Alphonso "Dizzy" Reece, Louis Smith and Ira Sullivan (83); Sam Noto and Kenny Wheeler (84); Carl "Doc" Severinson (86);  Clark Terry (93); Thomas Jefferson (94); Gerald Wilson (95); Lionel Ferbos (102 -- 103 on July 17th)
Marvin Stamm photo Ralph A. Miriello


Guitarists:
Jeff Beck
Jack Wilkins courtesy of Jack Wilkins
Jeff Beck, Pat Martino and  Jack Wilkins (70) George Benson, Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine (71); James Blood Ulmer and John McLaughlin (72); Jerry Hahn (73); Ralph Towner (74); Gene Bertoncini and Joe D'Iorio (77); Sonny Greenwich (78); Ed Bickert (81); Kenny Burrell (82);  Joao Gilberto and John Pisano (83); Martin "Marty" Grosz (84); Eddie Duran and Bucky Pizzarelli (88); Mundell Lowe (92).
Ralph Towner
 Trombonists:
Dick Griffin photo Lena Adasheva
Erlind Wickland (70) Fred Wesley (71); James "Dick" Griffin,  and Billy Watrous (74); Grachan Moncur III, Phillip Elder Wilson and "Big" Bill Bissonnette (77); Roswell Rudd (78); Julian Priester and Curtis Fuller (79); Locksley "Slide" Hampton (82); George "Buster" Cooper (85); Harold Betters and Conrad Janis (86); George Masso and Urbie Green (87).
Drummers/Percussionists

Billy Hart by Lena Adasheva
Billy Cobham photo Faina Cobham
Billy Cobham and Bobby Colomby (70), Jack DeJohnette, Barry Altschul (71)  Michael Gils (72); Han Bennink  (72); Billy Hart (73); Andrew Cyrille, Ginger Baker, Pierre Courbois and Idris Muhammad (74); Bernard Purdie, Issac "Redd" Holt, Nesbert "Stix" Hooper (75); Tony Oxley, Horace Arnold, Paul Ferrara and Daniel Humair (76), Louis Hayes, Pierre Favre, James "Sunny" Murray, Charly Antolini, Colin Bailey and Roy McCurdy (78); Ron Free , Albert "Tootie" Heath and Chuck Flores (79);  Ben Riley, Colin Bailey and Ray Mosca (81); Mickey Roker, Frank Capp and Grady Tate (82); Ronnie Bedford (82), John Armatage (84); Hal Blaine, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Persip (85); Frankie Dunlop (85); Joe Harris (86); Roy Haynes and Samuel "Dave" Bailey (88);  Candido Camero (92).



Jimmy Cobb photo Lena Adasheva
Candido photo Lena Adasheva


















Organists:
Brian Auger

Al Kooper and Booker T. Jones (70) Mac "Dr John" Rebennack and "Papa" John De Francesco (73)  Brian Auger (74); Rhoda Scott (76); Reuben Wilson (78); and Sir Charles Thompson (96).

Sir Charles Thompson


Jazz Vocalists:
Andy Bey photo Lena Adasheva
Joni Mitchell (70); Gilberto Gil (72); Janet Lawson (73); Astrud Gilberto, Al Jarreau and Mary Stallings and  Andy Bey (74); Ruth Price, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Ellyn Ruker (76); Nancy Wilson, Carol Sloane, Karin Krog and (77); Marlene Ver Planck and David Frishberg, piano/vocals (81); Freddy Cole and Mark Murphy (82);  Annie Ross and Helen Merrill (83); Sheila Jordan and Ernestine Anderson (85); Cleo Laine, Jackie Cain and Ernie Andrews (86); Tony Bennett (87); Bill Henderson  (88); Bob Dorough (90); Jon Hendricks (92) 

Freddy Cole photo Clay Walker 
Artists on Other Instruments:

Michal Urbaniak photo Jacek Guizika
David Friedman vibes,  Henry Threagill composer/arranger (70) Gary Burton, vibraphonist, Michal Urbaniak, violinist and Jean Luc Ponty, violinist, Jeremy Steig, flutist (71); Bobby Hutcherson and Roy Ayers, vibraphonists and Lonnie Liston Smith, keyboardist (73); Hubert Laws, flautist (74); Perry Morris Robinson, clarinetist, Gunter Hampel, multi-instrumentalist, Dave Pike, vibraphonist/marimba and Mike Maineri, vibraphonist (76); Hermeto Pascoal, accordion and keyboards,Charlie Shoemake, vibraphonist  (78); Joe Licari, clarinetist and  Sonny Simmons sax and English Horn (80), Warren Chiasson vibraphonist (80); Emil Richards, vibes and percussion (81); David Baker composer/cellist (82);  Pierre "Pete" Fountain, clarinetist (83);


Jeremy Stieg
Michael White, violinist, Rolf Kuhn, clarinetists and Paul Horn, flautist (84); Bernard "Acker" Bilk, clarinetist,  and Andre Previn conductor/pianist (85); Terry Gibbs, vibraphonist, George Wein, pianist/concert promoter (89) Rudy Van Gelder, recording engineer (90); Sammy Nestico pianist/arranger and Buddy DeFranco, clarinetist (91); Lorraine Gordon, music producer and owner of the Village Vanguard (91); Jean "Toots" Thielmans, harmonica/guitar/whistler (92); Svend Asmussen, violinist (98).

Buddy DeFranco




A big thank to all thee fine musicians and to photographers Lena Adasheva and Fran Kaufman and others for allowing the use of their terrific photogrphs.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Christian McBride Trio Smokes the Roscoe Room at Alvin and Friends in New Rochelle, NY

The Inimitable Christian McBride photo credit Ralph A. Miriello c 2014

In the heart of downtown New Rochelle, NY sits a relatively new restaurant space that has been slowly making a name for itself; Alvin & Friends is the brainchild of restaurateurs, Alvin and Gwen Clayton. The restaurant is home to what could easily be some of the best southern, soul and Caribbean inspired cuisine in Westchester County. Chef Denzil Roberts executes a delicious and varied menu that is sure to please almost anyone with a taste for, southern comfort food, jerk specialties, BBQ ribs or creamy shrimp and grits and collard greens just to name a few choice entrees.  The d├ęcor is bright, cheery and decorated with the colorful Matisse inspired paintings of Mr. Clayton, a one-time model.

Proprietor Alvin Clayton of Alvin & Friends
The added kicker, for jazz fans, is that Alvin & Friends is fast becoming a premier venue for quality jazz on Friday nights.  At the rear of the restaurant is the Roscoe Room, an intimate but spacious open space that seats about fifty at linen draped tables or at the small bar in the rear. The room was dedicated to the late actor Roscoe Lee Browne, a personal friend of Mr. & Mrs. Clayton. On this past Friday night, June 20th,
G J Productions, the husband and wife production team of Greg and Jewel Thomas presented the incomparable Christian McBride Trio in the Roscoe room.

Mr. McBride was apparently a little under the weather with Strep throat, as he explained in one his brief talks to the audience, but that certainly didn’t affect his level of energy. The buoyant Mr. McBride is forty-two years old now and he was joined by thirty-one year old Ulysses S. Owens Jr. on drums and twenty-five year old wunderkind Christian Sands on piano. At a collective age of less than a century, their musical maturity far exceeds their chronological age. The trio were impeccably dressed each wearing dapper suits and crisp shirts with only Mr. Owens sans tie. McBride had a Cheshire cat smile as he picked up his burnished bass and proceeded to start the first set with a rousing staccato version of Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” ; a proud master showing off his amazing musical prodigy. The trio is a powerhouse of precision and technical virtuosity.

Drummer Ulysses S. Owens Jr.
photo credit by Ralph A. Miriello c 2014
 Mr. Owens played a sparse trap set with only a snare, a ride cymbal, a single bass drum and a high-hat and yet created a myriad of sounds. He judiciously tightened and loosened his snare skin with his elbow, creating various timbres along the way. He used his rim and sticks for percussive effect and his brush work on “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” was equally impressive. Owens has a seemingly unlimited wellspring of inventive rhythmic patterns in his repertoire making him an integral part of this well balanced trio.  McBride can be deeply bluesy, gustily funky, astonishingly fast or just plain hard swinging and he demonstrated all these sides of his playing this evening.

On “Tom” Jobim’s “Triste” the music swayed quite apropos as the band played in the shadow of Mr. Clayton’s colorful paintings of native dancers on the wall. Christian Sands showed a remarkable ability to hammer notes with uncanny precision and unerring consistency.  Sitting within five feet of the pianist, his hands at times moved so fast that they seemed to blur to the naked eye.

Pianist Christian Sands
 photo credit Ralph A. Miriello c 2014
McBride played a sensitive arco introduction to the Tony Bennett classic “Who Can I Turn To When Nobody Needs Me.” Sands thrilled the audience with his creative use of block chords and two handed arpeggio runs and some sensitive ‘comping. The young Sands is an amazing technician with plenty of ideas that are often steeped in the blues, complex burn down the house lines more in the lineage of Art Tatum then Bill Evans.  The audience was rightfully mesmerized.

The group played a Monk tune that truly demonstrated the honed precision of their working dynamic; master musicians with intuitive interplay that only comes from working together over a sustained period. The three men were genuinely having fun, testing the limits of each other’s musical mettle in ways that challenged their own individual creativity, and thoroughly enjoying themselves in the process.

After a standing ovation, the group returned with an encore playing the 1935 Roger’s and Hart  “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” at a speed that would most likely have astonished the famous songwriting duo had they been around to hear it.

It was a night of musical magic, exactly what makes “live” music deliciously unpredictable and such an unsurpassed treat. Welcoming hospitality, good food  and shows like this is sure to make Alvin & Friends a premiere destination for Westchester and Lower Fairfield County  patrons who are looking for a first class dining and musical experience. This week catch the venerable saxophonist George Coleman Friday for two sets at Alvin & Friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Get Me: Joe Beck Leaves Us a Shining Legacy

Joe Beck : Get Me Whaling City Sound WCS 058
Coming of age in the sixties, guitarist Joe Beck was a ubiquitous presence embedded in much of the music that I was listening to at the time.  Beck started his career in the early sixties at the age of seventeen in Manhattan playing with some of the most heralded stars in the jazz world. He always said “I was just in the right place at the right time,” but truth be told he was damn good. You had to have been good to have played with the likes of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto, Gil Evans, Maynard Ferguson, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Buddy Rich. Perhaps, most famously, he was the first electric guitarist to play and record with Miles Davis. He remembered the gig with Davis in 1967: “For years I had dreamed of playing with Miles, one of my heroes. But when I had the chance I wasn’t prepared yet, and I played very badly on that session.”  The guitarist escaped the music for three years, operating a dairy farm before returning to become a staple of the studio and session scene in New York.

Beck’s imprint was all over Creed Taylor’s famous CTI label from the early seventies. He was practically Taylor’s house guitarist, his work on sessions by Esther Phillips, Joe Farrell, J.J. Johnson, Paul Desmond, Hubert Laws and Idris Muhammed. He made his own fusion release, self-titled Beck, from 1975 that included keyboardist Don Grolnick and the breakout crossover star, alto saxophonist David Sanborn. Beck was a jazz player who could scream like a rock player but with chops, and he employed ample fuzz tone or wah-wah effects as required. The guitarist was in the studio constantly, playing sessions for others, writing jingles and eventually producing and arranging.  In 1975, his studio work could be found on Paul Simon’s blockbuster Still Crazy After All These Years. Not all his work was memorable. In 1977 he was enlisted to produce/arrange Frank Sinatra’s disastrous plunge into disco on two singles "Night and Day" and "All or Nothing At All".

Despite being an in-demand sessions player, Joe looked back at time as being creatively stifling. In an interview in thelastmiles.com he summed up his experience this way. "I was totally involved in the studio business in New York, which is basically playing bad music for good money. That's what recording musicians do. Every once in a while they do something of note and that's nice. I was moving from one house to another and my appointment book fell out of a drawer.I picked it up and noticed on one page that I had twenty-one sessions in five days. Now there are not twenty-one good sessions a week on the planet, so you know eighteen of them were absolute horror shows. Studio life is lucrative but musically bare."

By 1989 Beck returned to dairy farming, an ill-fated  investment that depleted most of his savings and by 1992 he returned to music at age 47, a little too old for the studio scene. He picked up his guitar and returned to playing what he called “real” music, touring Europe. In 1993, he was still on call and can be heard on James Brown’s “Funky Side of Town” from Brown’s Get On The Good Foot album.  Sometime in the late nineties, after he and the guitarist John Abercrombie had finished a successful European tour, Joe Beck was diagnosed with lung cancer. Despite a positive attitude and extensive treatment Beck passed on July 22, 2008 in Woodbury, CT at the age of sixty-two.

And so, almost six years after his untimely passing, we get the release of a new trio album recorded live at Anna’ Jazz Island in Berkley, California on September 14, 2006. Posthumously released albums are a hit or miss affair. We often give performers, especially one’s we are fond of, a pass when we listen to something that we know is their final work, especially if they performed  in failing health. On Joe Beck’s final release, Get Me, there is no fear of sentimentality creeping into our judgment of this performance. Joe is in fine form and the session, brilliantly recorded by Adrian Wong is an unqualified delight. The performance documents a musician at peace with himself and simply wanting to play the music that he loves, unadorned and  in the most personal way. If there is a surprise in this mix it comes from the knowledge that the rhythm section of Peter Barshay on bass and Dave Rokeach on drums play so superbly in-sync with Beck, having been chosen by the owner Anna De Leon and having never before played with the guitarist. At one point in the program Beck calls out his rhythm section as being “stupid good”, a laudatory reference to Barshay and Rockeach’s intuitive playing.

The set is made up of standards, but Beck proves his affinity for creating tiny masterpieces of invention- delicate introductions that lead us into the familiar melodies. The brilliant interplay is evident from the very beginning on Victor Young’s oft played “Stella by Starlight,” a creative highlight, which finds Beck weaving marvelous passages through the melody as Barshay provides equally facile responses. The guitarist plays Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia On My Mind” on two versions on the album, the last one cut for radio play. Channeling his bluesier side either easily worth the price of admission. The guitarist employs beautiful single line runs, plays octaves ala Wes and compliments the melodies with delicate chord work using no effects, sometimes taking a ballad from  filigreed solo into a swinging jam.  

Beck has an affinity for playing Brazilian music. He starts Bonfa’s ”Manha de Carnival”  with a delicately played intro that quotes Jobim’s “Insensatez” before playing the main theme. He has a telepathic communication with drummer Rockeach on this one and the effect is magical. The guitarist shares amusing anecdotes during the performance and they give you the feeling of being there. One story about his friendship with “Tom” Jobim, whom he describes as a man he would love to party with, precedes playing  the maestro’s song “Corcovado” in a stirring demonstration of octave and chordal work that sways like a palm tree in the Brazilian breeze. 

Throughout the recording you are drawn to the guitarist’s thoughtful approach to the standards “…my aim on the guitar is to try to get each chord to follow the preceding chord like it was meant to be there, and then sort of hint at what the next chord might be.”  The program includes a wonderful rendition of “Alone Together” a Bill Evans favorite, “I Can’t Get Started”, a rousing “You the Night and the Music” and a beautiful take on “Tenderly” that goes from a slow sensitive ballad to a more adventurous exploration of the theme with some of  Beck’s faster single line runs.


Listening to Joe play on this album is like being led down a newly discovered path in a familiar wood. You re-discover the wonderment and beauty of memorable melodies that he treats with such respect and creativity. Pure artistry by a man with nothing to prove; an adventure that can thrill if you allow your heart and mind to be openly immersed in the experience.  If Joe Beck somehow had the desire, the dream to leave one last recorded legacy of what this music really meant to him, then surely the brilliantly recorded Get Me is a wonderfully realized dream. Thanks Joe you are missed.

Here are two very different performances by the inimitable Joe Beck: