Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Marc Johnson/Elaine Elias - Swept Away (ECM, 2012)

The husband and wife team of bassist Marc Johnson and pianist Elaine Elias are joined on this intimate jazz album by Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone and Joey Baron on drums. The music is melodious and peaceful, moving through gentle motifs with tact and dignity. “It’s Time” has piano, bass and drums developing a spacious feeling, slowly advancing the pace with a warm melodic feel akin to the mid-70’s Keith Jarrett records. After setting this up, the trio strengthens the pace, moving into a stronger, more driving improvisation. Lovano enters on “One Thousand and One Nights” moving lightly and probing at the song while being framed by soft bass and drums. “When The Sun Comes Up” has melodic piano and bass laying the groundwork for thematic development, before making space for subtle percussion and a delicate bass solo. “Midnight Blues” has a late night bluesy feel of darkened streets and lonely avenues before dawn. Lovano is excellent here, matching the quiet and longing pace with a tone of languidness and melancholy. “Moments” keeps the tone with a slow moving quartet ballad that develops a narcotic dreamy air. There is a haunted patience to this album that imbues the whole of the music presented here. Things develop at their own pace with no effort made to hurry or hustle, like the music has become disconnected from time to build its own bubble of spacetime. Swept Away -

Send comments to Tim.