Thursday, July 02, 2009

Equinox: Here and Now - debut album

Equinox: Here and Now - debut album (English) Equinox: Here and Now - debuutalbum (Nederlands)

Debut album
Hans Koert

Jazz ought to be played in small clubs with inspired musicians, who love to listen to each other and anticipate to the music performed on stage. Equinox is such a group born on the band-stand. It performs during the winter season each Sunday and Tuesday at the Bar-Restaurant Pavlov in The Hague. This band recently released its first album, titled: Equinox “Here & Now.
Four musicians: Three Americans and one Irishman – all four living in Holland now for years: Chris Johansen plays the tenor saxophone and was born and raised in Seattle. He studied saxophone at the New England Conservatory and moved to The Netherlands in 2003.

Dan Nicholas - A.J. Davis
Dan Nicholas plays the guitar and is originally from New York City. He performed in that city with musicians like George Braithwaite, Leroy Williams and Jimmy Lovelace. George Braithwaite, who visited The Netherlands more then fifty years ago for the very first time, as a member of the American Jazz Sextet as the opener of the Jay Jay Johnson Quintet concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (August 1957), became known as George Braith, who made some great Blue Note recordings during the 1960s. He is still active playing his self-made Braitophone, a double saxophone and his Boptronics, a kind of synthesizer.

Johnny Daly, the bass man is from Ireland and was raised in Dublin. He moved to the Netherlands to follow a study at the Koninklijk Conservatorium ( = Royal Conservatory ) of The Hague. He played with Eric Ineke, the well known Dutch drummer, 40 years in music, who recently released a great album with his band Eric Ineke’s JazzXpress: Xpressions in Time.
A.J. Davis - Johnny Daly
A.J. Davis, drummer, came to The Netherlands two years ago. He played in several blues bands in and around Tallahassee, Florida and Los Angeles, Ca.
The album, Here & Now, contains 10 tracks, most standards composed by musicians like
Ornette Coleman: Bird Food, a title that refers to the influences by Parker you can hear in this 1959 tune and Lotus Blossom, a Billy Strayhorn composition, which reminds me always to a Dave Frishberg recording I have in my collection for years. I was fascinated by two other standards: Peggy’s Blue Skylight, a tune released on Charles Mingus 1962 Town Hall concert recorded for Blue Note and a great version of Brilliant Corners, one of the most difficult and tricky Thelonious Monk compositions, with hard to play rhythmic patterns and double speed choruses. When this tune was recorded by the Thelonious Monk Quintet ( with names like Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford and Sonny Rollins) for the very first time for Riverside, it needed more then 25 takes to wax it by Monk’s Quintet, October 1956. And if you never have heard about Oscar Pettiford’s practical joke on this session, contact me and I'll tell you. The finally released tune by Monk was compiled from several takes, so it was a great challenge for Equinox to have this tune on their first album. ......... and they succeeded - what a great tune! A piece of art!
Johnny Daly - Chris Johansen
In Keepers of the Flame and Brighter Shores, Dan Nicholas shows that he is a skilled hard bop composer and accompanist below Chris Johansen’s solo on the tenor sax and himself at the guitar. And Same Time Tomorrow, a Johnny Daly composition, learns that the band is a balanced unity.

A great debut album of this band, which learns that hardbop, although born more then 50 years ago, still sounds fresh and undated as performed by this band, that found a perfect balance. The name of the band, Equinox, refers to that: in fact the name Equinox is the period of the year when day and night are equally of length ( and wasn’t Equinox a 1960 John Coltrane recording?). Hard bop is still alive!

Hans Koert

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

well done guys. every success with the album. you deserve it.

2:27 PM  

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