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

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Forgas Band Phenomena - L'Axe du Fou – Patrick Forgas is a French drummer who has been releasing jazz-rock fusion gems since the late 70s. The latest incarnation on Cuneiform Records finds Patrick and his band mates Sebastien Trognon (sax...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues