Monday, August 06, 2007

Bruce Hornsby w/ Christian McBride & Jack DeJohnette - Camp Meeting (Legacy, 2007)

My little familiarity with Hornsby's prior music was a passing knowledge of his maudlin radio hits "That's Just the Way It Is" and "Mandolin Rain" so my expectations for this disc were quite low. But it actually turns out to be a very pleasant surprise as he acquaints himself admirably with some very challenging material from the likes of Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk and Keith Jarrett. Jarrett's "Death and the Flower" is taken as a elegiac solo dirge, while Ornette's "Question and Answer" along with Monk's "Little Rootie Tootie" and Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco" are rollicking trio performances. McBride's bass is deep and soulful and clearly indebted to his mentor Ray Brown, particularly in the very fine solo he takes during "Giant Steps" while DeJohnettte provides the perfect amount of support and accents that make him a legend in the field. I must admit, I did not see this one coming. It's a very good CD of improvising piano trio music and is quite recommended.

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