Exposé Online banner

Rich Halley 3 — The Literature
(Pine Eagle 011, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-01-23

The Literature Cover art

A jazz trio that consists of bass, drums, and a melodic instrument like sax or trumpet can be a really wonderful thing. The absence of a piano or guitar filling in chords gives the other players room to really explore without fear of clashing with the backing. Tenor sax player Rich Halley says of this album, “My previous twenty recordings are devoted to originals, so I decided it was time for an album of tunes by other musicians.” His choices feature some expected jazz greats, but also some unexpected pieces. Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Mongo Santamaria, and Sun Ra sit alongside country legends Jimmie Rodgers, A.P. Carter, Eddie Hill, and Jean Branch. The arrangements here are interesting and imaginative, far from standard rehashes of standard tunes. Monk’s “Misterioso” and “Brilliant Corners” are lots of fun, and Santamaria’s “Chano Pozo” is turned into a real showcase for drummer Carson Halley. I’m also fond of their arrangement of “Motherless Child,” which leads off with the bass taking the melody, and makes the most of a bouncy gospel blues framework before drifting off into some great post-bop soloing. Somewhat less successful is the trio’s take on “Mood Indigo,” where the slow tempo leads to a somewhat schmaltzy drag, though the chorus when bassist Clyde Reed takes the melody is very good. That track is only a minor detraction from the overall high quality presented on The Literature, and I can recommend this Portland, Oregon group highly.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Rich Halley

More info
http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/richhalley32

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Djam Karet - Recollection Harvest – I have a dilemma about this CD. The band claims it’s actually two albums: the relatively heavy Recollection Harvest and the mellower Indian Summer. On one hand, this absolves them of the...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues