Jazz

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

Blues in Amer­ica Tom Vin­cent In­de­pen­dent Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in jazz stud­ies from the Syd­ney Con­ser­va­to­rium of Mu­sic in 1989, Ho­bart pi­anist Tom Vin­cent moved to New York in 1992 to live and per­form there for three years be­fore re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia.

This lat­est al­bum, Vin­cent’s eighth and recorded in New York, fea­tures his trio with the im­por­tant ad­di­tion of US sax­o­phon­ist Bran­ford Marsalis on three of these five lengthy tracks, while dou­ble bass is shared be­tween Leigh Barker and Matt Clo­hesy.

The ti­tle track is taken at a brisk tempo and fea­tures some im­pres­sive play­ing from Marsalis on so­prano sax. He also plays tenor on this and sev­eral other tracks.

Some bril­liant up-tempo pi­ano comes from the leader, un­der­scored by Alf Jack­son’s drums. Ver­non Duke’s bal­lad Au­tumn in New York is the slow­est tempo piece here and it’s ex­plored at length in the high tre­ble and mid-range by Vin­cent, who also man­ages to in­ject bounc­ing new vi­tal­ity into the over­worked stan­dard Sweet Ge­or­gia Brown.

Another time­worn bal­lad, In­di­ana, also re­ceives ex­ten­sive solo in­ter­pre­ta­tions at medium tempo from Vin­cent’s in­ex­haustible pi­ano, in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous quotes from well­known stan­dards, ahead of Marsalis’s al­ways in­ven­tive, swing­ing tenor sax. Don­ald Kahn’s grace­ful bal­lad A Beau­ti­ful Friend­ship also fea­tures Marsalis’s solo tenor work and sev­eral bright ex­changes with the pi­ano.

This al­bum is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment by a pi­anist who set a high bar in mu­si­cal stan­dards long ago and who right now is at the top of his game.

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