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New Jersey Freebie

Artist: Jimmy Bennington

Date of Release: 25/10/2019

Catalogue no: SLAMCD596

Label: SLAM

Price: £8.99

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Track Listing

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Title

Duration

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Bennington - drums
Steve Cohn - piano (vocals)
Ed Schuller - bass (vocals #6)

Tracks:
1. Night and Day (Cole Porter) 6:15
2. Nepal (Cohn) 7:27
3. New Jersey Freebie ( Cohn/ Schuller) 3:59
4. Back to You (Cohn) 9:46
5. Intro to That’s It (Cohn) 1:25
6. That’s It (Bennington/ Cohn/ Schuller) 2:17
7. Body and Soul (Johnny Green) 5:56

Jimmy tells it as it is .. or was:
“A flight in from Chicago. A take-out Mandarin lunch carried to le Studio in the old fashioned white boxes with wire handles. Many cartons left empty, splashes of Vodka, bottles of beer, and much music played as day turned to evening. We awaited the great Ed Schuller’s arrival for night music...it was all fine and good…even when Ed arrived and called out before playing a note “...and you’re gonna pay my tolls!”.

He’s the man with the whip though, and he drove us with his bass, calmly cursing and singing throughout. The piano’s webs became the more intricate, Steve’s voice blending into the trio, and a light was shone on the drummer’s obscurity.

A sunny exploration of Hackensack, feeling good, experiencing new air, new faces, shops, people, an appetite growing... meandering strolls and discourse; many ideas passed back and forth, a thoughtful walk back to le Studio…a great old time warehouse you don’t see too much anymore, situated at the tracks…we were quiet and stayed that way for some time…just stillness and rest…the sound of the trains rumbling past, whistles blowing, augmented our hearts and the music we made there tremendously”.

 

Reviews

 

01/01/2020 Ken Cheetham

This CD opens and closes with two, well-known ‘standards’, Night and Day (Cole Porter) and Body and Soul (Johnny Green) the other five tracks coming from members of the band. Regardless of the source, there are no predispositions in the music’s presentation, which moves between passages of quiet, yearning tranquillity and periods of frantic commotion. The whole is distinctly out of the ordinary, seeking out as it were a new direction for the piano, bass, drums trio.
Bennington’s drumming is a bit different, especially in its impropriety, its looseness, which leaves room for those around him to indulge in their own forms of discerning freedom.
Apart from a toy drum as a child, he started his musical life playing clarinet in elementary school, then switched to drums aged thirteen. He studied with Elvin Jones for ten years from 1994 and has travelled around the States quite a bit, experiencing playing with marching bands, jazz, blues and concert combos as well as in improvised music groups.
His principal inspirations he claims are John Coltrane, more than anybody, and Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Jimi Hendrix, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Sunny Murray, Max Roach and Howlin’ Wolf – among others.
At just over 37 minutes long, if the CD were twice that there would be nothing in it of which one might tire. It’s very different, very imaginative, even perhaps unique.
Reviewed by Ken Cheetham January 2020, https://www.jazzviews.net/jimmy-bennington---new-jersey-freebie.html

 

10/12/2019 Barry Witherden

The independent SLAM label, run by multi-reedsman George Haslam, has a catalogue which is nothing if not intriguing and varied, though with a general bias towards the avant-garde (if we can still call it that.) The music on this CD fits that template nicely.
Ed Schuller is the brother of drummer George and the son of composer and music-commentator Gunther, perhaps best-known to jazz audiences for playing French horn on some of Miles Davis’s Birth Of The Cool sessions and as the godfather of “third stream” music, combining jazz and classical techniques. Ed has played with numerous major and minor jazz figures and outfits and consistently contributes solid, constructive elements to any music he is involved with, including this here.
Bennington’s bass drum bears the legend “colour and sound”, which is a fair enough indicator of his approach, though he could add “momentum” as he can whip up a storm when required. I think I first heard Cohn on the 1999 Leo Records album Bridge Over The X-Stream, where he played various Eastern instruments, (including his second love, the Shakuhachi, a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute that he has often used since) as well as piano alongside former Coltrane-bassist Reggie Workman. Here he confines himself to piano. It sounds to me like he’s using an upright rather than a grand piano here but, whatever, the instrument’s rather idiosyncratic tone adds charm to even the most abstract passages.
The two standards that bookend the album get respectful but certainly not reverential treatment. Cohn, who started out playing blues, offers some of his funkiest work on these tracks and on Back To You, which alludes surprisingly to Rodgers and Hart’s Isn’t It Romantic. Like all really interesting music this session reveals more details with successive hearings. Incidentally, the “vocals” credited are in fact just the occasional yell or humming along with an instrumental line … no lyrics.
Barry Witherden 10 December 2019 https://jazzjournal.co.uk/2019/12/10/jimmy-bennington-steve-cohn-ed-schuller-new-jersey-freebie/

 

04/11/2019 George W. Harris

Loose and intuitive interpretations of jazz standards stand alongside originals on this trio album by drummer Jimmy Bennington, pianist Steve Cohn and bassist Ed Schuller. Of the standards, Schuller rambles on and plays the song lead on “Night and Day,” and lays down a rich line for a liquid “Body and Soul.” Chaos and yelling takes place on a quickie “That’s It” and Schuller bows to a mellow Cohn for “Nepal” before the team splatters on the title track. Lots of visceral guidance on this one. George Harris http://www.jazzweekly.com/2019/11/yin-and-yang-of-triosthe-raymond-de-felitta-trio-pre-war-charm-jimmy-bennington-steve-cohn-ed-schuller-new-jersey-freebie-tunetown-there-from-here-cervini-tokyo-tramps-if-i-die-tom/

 

01/11/2019 Vittorio Lo Conte

Fra il batterista Jimmy Bennington ed il pianista Steve Cohn è spuntata da tempo un’intesa musicale che ha già portato all’incisione di un duo tratto da un concerto dal vivo. Ora con l’aggiunta del veterano contrabbassista Ed Schuller si è formato un trio che qui presenta diverse composizioni dei musicisti insieme a due famosi standard che aprono e chiudono il disco. È una musica decisamente fuori dall’ordinario, come ci ha ormai mostrato da tempo il pianista, che affronta il tutto con disinvoltura, che siano gli standard o il resto, il loro approccio è decisamente libero da pregiudizi di sorta, l’importante è l’atmosfera di libertà che si instaura nel dialogo. A volte il trio si muove all’interno di un mainstream tranquillo, guidato dal contrabbasso di Schuller, altrove la musica si fa più agitata e inquieta, percorsa da cluster e urla dei musicisti in studio, un mare in tempesta come su That’s It, un’improvvisazione collettiva del trio. Body and Soul è un’esecuzione molto speciale, sulla via della strada maestra ma con idiosincrasia, speciale per quello che esprime, nonostante le libertá che ci si è concessi. Un disco, come altri di Cohn, piuttosto originale, alla ricerca di nuove soluzioni per il classico trio con pianoforte e ritmica.
Vittorio Lo Conte http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=30990#.XcqnX_n7S1u
GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Between drummer Jimmy Bennington and pianist Steve Cohn, a musical agreement has long emerged that has already led to the recording of a duo taken from a live concert. Now with the addition of veteran double bass player Ed Schuller, a trio has been formed that presents different compositions of the musicians together with two famous standards that open and close the disc. It is a decidedly out of the ordinary music, as the pianist, who faces everything casually, whether it is the standards or the rest, has now shown us for a long time, their approach is decidedly free from prejudices, the important thing is atmosphere of freedom that is established in the dialogue. Sometimes the trio moves inside a quiet mainstream, led by Schuller's double bass, elsewhere the music becomes more agitated and restless, covered by clusters and screams of musicians in the studio, a stormy sea like on That's It, a collective improvisation of the trio. Body and Soul is a very special performance, on the way of the high road but with idiosyncrasy, special for what it expresses, despite the freedoms one has been granted. A disc, like others by Cohn, quite original, looking for new solutions for the classic piano and rhythm trio

 

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