Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rick Germanson Quartet Live at Smalls

Among the latest batch of recordings of Live at Smalls on the Smalls Live label is one by the Rick Germanson Quartet. Pianist Germanson was joined that night by the trumpet of Dr. Eddie Henderson, the bass of Paul Gill and the drums of Lewis Nash. Germanson, best know for his association with Louis Hayes (especially the Cannonball Legacy Band), displays the influence of McCoy Tyner among others in his energetic playing.

On this date, backed by an excellent rhythm section, and benefiting from Henderson’s bright playing (in a Freddie Hubbard vein), he leads off with a driving interpretation of Bobby Timmons’ So Tired. Henderson employs a mute for a fresh and imaginative take on Surrey With A Fringe On Top, lending more of a Miles Davis’ tone here although the performances allude to the melody and chord structure of Surrey with little direct rephrasing or embellishment of the familiar melody.

Shorter’s Waltz is a Germanson original evocative of some of Shorter’s compositions with some strong work by Gill and Nash providing the base supporting more fine playing Henderson and Germanson. Playing solo, Germanson provides a lovely impressionistic rendering of Duke Ellington’s The Single Petal of a Rose, which is followed by another appealing ballad, Say It (Over & Over Gain), with Gill and Nash adding light, understated support.

A Germanson original, Edge brings Henderson back who plays in a fiery mode on this hard bop cooker. It closes another strong live recording of straight ahead hard bop from the Greenwich Village jazz club.

I purchased this. Here is Rick performing Bebop.

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