Monday, February 27, 2012

Adam Makowicz - Naughty Baby (Novus, 1987)

Adam Makowicz - piano

Charlie Haden - bass
Dave Holland - bass
Al Foster - drums

Naughty Baby (Novus, 1987)

Recorded in 1987, with Charlie Haden (bass) and Al Foster (drums) on 5 tracks, and Dave Holland (bass) added on the other 6. This is quite simply a supreme piano album. The album's subtitle "Honoring George Gershwin" is substantiated by the witty arrangements of material ranging from "They All Laughed" to "Rhapsody in Blue", as well as by the playing of all four participants.

The album is included in "The Essential Jazz Records vol. 2" by Max Harrison and others, [my reason for seeking it out] where Harrison gives a full review and places it in relation to the pianist's other early recordings. To summarise, Makowicz is usually credited with phenomenal technique, but with little discussion of the use to which he puts it, but this of course is to miss the point. To quote Harrison, "Nowhere does the individuality of expression arise solely from complexity of method, as the toccata-like "Fascinatin' Rhythm" shows. This is close to a straightforward trio performance, at least at first; but as it unfolds this gesture towards conventionality serves to emphasise the personal nature of Makowicz's ideas in themselves and of the pianistic forms in which he casts them."

Track listing: 1 Somebody Loves Me (DeSylva, Gershwin, MacDonald) 4:30; 2 They All Laughed (Gershwin, Gershwin) 5:53; 3 Prelude, No. 2 (Gershwin) 5:47; 4 Maybe (Gershwin, Gershwin) 5:57; 5 Fascinating Rhythm (Gershwin, Gershwin) 3:15; 6 Naughty Baby (Gershwin, Gershwin) 4:24; 7 Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward) 2:35; 8 Embraceable You (Gershwin, Gershwin) 6:07; 9 Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin) 6:13; 10 My Man's Gone Now (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward) 4:20; 11 Summertime (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward) 4:00

By T. A. King

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