Paul Motian Band|Garden of Eden

A mix of bebop tunes, if Mingus counts as bebop, and originals. ‘Pithecanthropus Erectus’ is an easy swinging delight, while Mingus’ tribute to Lester Young ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ is may be the best version I’ve heard. Paul Motian Band|Garden of EdenBoth Cheek and Malaby shine on this one and the ensembles glisten and glide. Cheek also contributes the soft as sunrise ‘Desert Dream,’ while guitarist Cardenas adds ‘Balata’ to the band’s book. As for Motian, ‘Etude,’ the ghostly title track and ‘Manhattan Melodrama’ are fine compositions that allow the soloist to emerge from the group without dominating. In this band, the collective remains king. Makes you feel that "horn plus rhythm" jazz is a thing of the past and that standards only get revisited, if you genuinely have something new to add. Take Jerome Kern’s ‘Bill,’ for example. Would Kern ever have envisioned it like this? I hope so. And I’m sure Monk would love Motian’s fragmentary take on ‘Evidence’ and the drum solo that slides effortlessly from the theme. A real grower and another fine album from Paul Motian.

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