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Bruno Hubert Trio - Fire Waltz (2023)

Исполнитель: Bruno Hubert
Название альбома: Fire Waltz
Год выпуска: 2024
Формат файлов: FLAC [Hi-Res 24Bit]/MP3@320K/s
Размер архива: 1,3 GB/164,6 MB
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1. I Fall In Love Too Easily
2. Golden Earrings
3. I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face
4. Con Alma
5. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
6. Edda
7. Fire Waltz 05:49
8. Sincerely Diana
9. You And The Night And The Music
10. Sweet ‘n’ Sour

On this recording, Hubert is joined by longtime trio mates James Meger on bass and Joe Poole on drums. They have been playing together regularly for at least seven years. Meger, a Vancouver native and a graduate of the McGill University jazz music program, has been on the Vancouver scene for well over a decade. Extremely versatile, Meger is as comfortable with experimental electronic music, pop, and free jazz as he is with Hubert’s bebop-informed jazz—if one can put Hubert’s music in any category but its own.

Joe Poole has perhaps been the most in-demand jazz drummer on the Vancouver scene for some years now. Poole studied with the great Oscar Peterson in his formative years and has played with many jazz greats over the years including Curtis Fuller, Houston Person, Russell Malone, and many others.

Those familiar with Hubert's repertoire know that he does not compose original works in the strict sense. But his arrangements of standards are anything but familiar. This offering starts with the 1944 Jule Styne classic I Fall In Love Too Easily. Played as a waltz, Hubert introduces the take with an ostinato figure in the left hand which set up Meger to follow this line on bass; Poole joins in with a suitably staccato pattern on the ride cymbal and near-unison rim shots, coloured by splashes of another riveted ride cymbal, and, eventually, a syncopated commentary between snare and bass drum. The rhythmic feel belies the three-beat waltz time signature and sounds more like a Latin tune as Meger, never straying too far from the one-beat, continues to add complimentary conversational lines to spur on Hubert's lyrical and beguiling inventions.

Golden Earrings is a four-beat bounce at a jolly, medium tempo that was written by Victor Young for Hollywood in 1947 and became a hit for Peggy Lee. With Hubert it swings and provides a trelliswork upon which he weaves a lively, melodic adventure punctuated by snappy and upstanding brushwork by Poole and solid walking by Meger.

Another one of Hubert's favourites that demonstrates his uncanny arrangements is the Frederick Loewe 1956 Broadway hit (from My Fair Lady) I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face. Hubert's version again begins with him articulating both the rhythmic essence and the intro vamp bass notes instructionally to Meger and Poole. This is likely a technique Hubert developed over the years, as personnel shifts in his trio meant that new members had to be taught his arrangements anew. The intro serves to create a mood and get the musicians on the same groove and wavelength, then launch them into the spotlight of the melody. This version of an often-saccharine Broadway love song moves along with a propulsive urgency that has more of a galactic atmosphere about it than mere earthly courtship. Indeed, after the melody has been debuted Hubert sneaks in one of his favorite quotes with a nod to the Miles Davis hit All Blues.

Con Alma, a Dizzy Gillespie tune written by the bebop pioneer in 1954 is a constant in the Hubert book. It features the rhythm section as the trio explores the polyrhythmic possibilities of its Afro-Cuban 12/8-time signature. After the intro and melody, Meger takes the wheel and leads the trio with a long bass solo, while Hubert gives the piano a rest and challenges Poole to a duel with maracas and a tiny tambourine which he uses to great effect.

Providing a mood and tempo contrast to the other selections on this recording is the 1959 Charles Mingus elegy, Good-bye Pork Pie Hat. The tune was written for the legendary Lester Young, a man synonymous with pork pie hats and all-around jazz hipness. Here Hubert insists that the tempo and rhythmic approach imply a funeral march, and yet he also conveys a hopeful tone—a send-off towards a long journey into eternity, rather than a dead-end demise.

Title track Fire Waltz is a Mal Waldron composition with a ¾ time feel, and yet Hubert manages to propel it forward in such a way that one can easily forget it is a waltz. This track offers up some of Hubert’s most unique and lyrical lines and demonstrates how each player is not only supporting the soloist but also carrying the improvisation at times with fills, comments, and a kind of call-and-response conversation. With this track one can hear Hubert telling his story with an eloquent and original voice.
Reprising an arrangement by vocalist Denzel Sinclaire, an early associate and collaborator of Hubert’s, he leads the trio through the 1934 Broadway hit You and the Night and the Music. As with Sinclaire's 2003 Verve recording of the tune the romantic elements are clear. Yet with the medium-tempo Latin rhythmic movement and Hubert's imaginative and syncopated explorations, this version transcends romance, taking the listener on a soulful and even more exciting adventure. Meger is featured with a solo and leads the trio to Hubert's reconsideration of the melody before an emphatic close.

If it is true that Hubert is drawn to waltzes, it is also true that he loves the compositions of Wayne Shorter. One of three Shorter tunes (Sweet’n’Sour is available on digital release) on this record, Edda first appeared as a fast, hard bop waltz on the 1966 Lee Morgan disc The Rumproller. Here Hubert also places the tempo at a barely danceable 230 beats per minute, but still allows the music to breathe, inviting Joe Poole to comp, comment and set up his melodic lines—and send the trio galloping forward. While Hubert has always insisted that a waltz never abandon the first beat of the bar, Meger is heard to walk his instrument whenever Hubert decides to launch into a run of notes that produces pneumatic lift.

Sincerely Diana, another Wayne Shorter tune, was written for Art Blakey's wife Diana while Shorter was producing material for the Blakey Band of the late 1950s. Hubert has always been drawn to Shorter’s harmonic uniqueness and to the uncommon form of this tune. Played in straight time at a medium tempo—unlike the faster swing feel of the Jazz Messengers’ 1960 debut—Hubert gives it a darker and more poignant tone, ruminating on the introspective chord changes. As mysterious and unique as Mr. Shorter was, Hubert has in turn added his own twist to this lesser-known jazz composition and made it his own.

Bruno Hubert - piano
James Meger - bass
Joe Poole - drums

Cellar Live

Recorded at Norah and Will’s place, October 26-27, 2023

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(21.06.24 - 13:14) - Alexej-66:



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