sat 20/07/2024

CD: Django Bates' Belovèd - Confirmation | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Django Bates' Belovèd - Confirmation

CD: Django Bates' Belovèd - Confirmation

In this second release from Belovèd, Django Bates connects the dots from bebop to classic pop

Django Bates' Belovèd: fearless

Django Bates has commented that he probably first heard the music of Charlie Parker while still in the womb. Parker's music has thus been part of his musical make up ab ovo, as it were. This brilliant follow-up to Bates' 2010 Parker tribute Belovèd Bird comprises three classics from the Parker canon – the title track, “Donna Lee” and “Now's the Time” – plus six compositions from Bates.

The trio's amazing rhythm section, bassist Petter Eldh and drummer Peter Bruun, are both alumni of Copenhagen's Rhythmic Music Conservatory, the leader's erstwhile stamping ground. The sudden shifts of tempo and the fractured, stop-start rhythms of Parker's title track hold no fears for either player, both of whom prove themselves to be Masters of Djangology.

The Bates material ranges from the Jarrett-like lyricism of “Senza Bitterness” - the leader at his balladic best – to the luxuriant pools of notes that coalesce in “Sadness All the Way Down”, to the busy surface activity of “Giorgiantics”. Huge plaudits to co-producer and sound engineer, Tim Adnitt, for achieving one of the richest, most detailed and lifelike piano sounds I've heard on a jazz recording. The hugely powerful octave Ds thumped out by Bates at the close of “Peonies as Promised” take an entire minute to slowly fade. Featuring one of those "big" melodies, it seems to cry out for a Loose Tubes makeover.

The biggest surprise is saved until last, a deferential take on the Bacharach/David classic “A House Is Not A Home”, movingly sung by former Loose Tubes front man, Ashley Slater. With typically stacked up vocal harmonies courtesy of the trio, the song closes on a repeated “good night” along with the ghostly superimposition of Parker themes. A telling example of how, in the Bates universe, everything is connected.

Watch Django Bates' Belovèd perform at the Trondheim Jazz Festival


Bassist Petter Eldh and drummer Peter Bruun both prove themselves to be Masters of Djangology


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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