Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Bridge Quartet: Night

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 10.1.09
Buy CD: Night

About a year ago, I reviewed an album titled Day by this quartet, which is based in Portland, Ore. Drummer Alan Jones organized the unit — Canadian saxophonist Phil Dwyer, bassist Tom Wakling and pianist Darrell Grant — for a few club dates. A recording session was scheduled right after the first club date, and “Day” was the result.

The second club date was held the subsequent evening; it, too, prompted a recording session. That album, the subject of this review, was appropriately titled Night.

The primary difference between the two albums is the ambient atmosphere. Only the musicians and studio technicians were present for Day, but Night was done for a live audience. Both sessions were excellent, but the group definitely was more lively when fans were present. Their appreciation and applause clearly improved the quality of the music.

Two tunes — “Wouldn't It Be Loverly” and “Strode Rode” — appear on both releases, and the difference between the two takes is quite noticeable.

The remaining tracks on this album are covers of well-known jazz standards: “Green Dolphin Street,” Billy Strayhorn's “Isfahan,” Thelonious Monk's “Bemsha Swing” and Victor Feldman's “A Face Like Yours.”

This is a very good quartet. I'd love to have a group like this playing in a club nearby, so I could enjoy it often.

No comments: