#1428 『Jeff Denson Quartet:Concentric Circles』

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Text by Kayo Fushiya 伏谷佳代

Ridgeway Records:2016

Jeff Denson Quartet:
Jeff Denson (double bass, vocals)
Paul Hanson (bassoon)
Dan Zemelman (piano)
Allan Hall (drums)

1. City life on trains (3:49)
2. Anticipation (4:57)
3. A thought that lingers (5:22)
4. Wishing well (5:22)
5. Look before you leap (4:13)
6. Time waits for no one (5:37)
7. 21st Century blues (4: 36)
8. Once the door opens (6:10)
9. Circle (5:04)
10. I got it bad (3:03)

All compositions by Jeff Denson, except “ I got it bad” by Duke Ellington
Produced and arranged by Jeff Denson

Recorded & mixed by Adam Munoz @ Fantasy Recording Studio in Berkley, CA on 17/12/2015, 17/01/2016, and 16,17/01/2016
Mastered by Ken Lee Mastering Oakland, CA
Graphic design by Ted Killion
Photos by A-Retrospective, Robin Kempster and Moving Parts Media

ベーシスト、ジェフ・デンソンによるトリオ第2作。前作はゲストにリー・コニッツを迎え、この生きたレジェンドをアメリカのジャズ史に投影した力作だったが、本作で注目されるのはバスーンのポール・ハンソンの採用だろう。その温かみのある低音、息の長いフレージングでアルバムの叙情性を随所で高めている。プログレからスウィング、バラード、タンゴのエッセンスに到るまで多岐に渡る楽曲構成のなか、スローなトラックが格別の味わい。ふと人生を立ち止まりたくなる。今回もジェフのヴォーカルの浸透力は抜群だが(track.4,8)、楽器の別によらず全般に肉声感が濃厚に立ちこめる。メロディラインがこってりと二重張りにされる箇所は聴きどころ(track.3, 8)。トリオとしてのグルーヴのタイトさも鉄壁であり、ピアノとドラムの当意即妙な応酬と音圧コントロール、痛快な弾力性と含蓄たっぷりの揺籃との間を行き来するダブルベースの鮮やかな切り口はさすが。アルバム全体が人生行路を現しているように起伏に富み、互いのシーンが有機的に連なってゆく。そういう意味での『Concentric Circles』であり、曲ごとにダウンロードする聴き方がそぐわぬアルバムだろう。ベース・ソロによる終曲は、生の手触りへの賛歌であり、生活感情が失われた現代においてことさらに哀愁を帯びて心に残る。

“Concentric Circles” is the second album of the trio led by bassist, Jeff Denson. On their first album, Lee Konitz was invited as a featured guest, resulting in a tour de force projecting this living legend onto American jazz history. The noteworthy point of this second album is the invitation extended to bassoonist Paul Hanson. At every turn, his warm bass and long phrasing enhances the lyricism of the album. From among the wide-ranging compositions from progressive, swing, and ballads, to tango essence, the slow tracks are exceptionally touching, and their performance compels the listener to unintentionally pause their life. Again, the penetrating power of Jeff’s vocals is outstanding (Tracks 4 and 8); regardless of the instrument, natural feeling of warmth casts a broad veil. The parts with a strong double melody line are the finest passages (Tracks 3 and 8). This trio group is as tight as an impregnable fortress, and witty exchanges between the piano and drum and sound pressure control, and the brilliant perspective of the double bass traversing between exhilarating flexibility and a cradle full of meaning are all true to their reputation. The whole album is full of ups and downs as if representing life’s journey, and mutual scenes are organically strung out. In this sense, it is truly a matter of “Concentric Circles” and it is an album that downloading individual pieces and listening will not suit. The final piece played with a bass solo is a paean to the touch of life, and tinged with the sadness found especially in modern times where the joys and sorrows of everyday life have been lost; it lingers on unforgettable in the listener’s heart.
(Kayo Fushiya)



Jeff Denson Quartet:(from left) Dan Zemelman, Jeff Denson, Allan Hall, Paul Hanson


伏谷佳代 (Kayo Fushiya) 1975年仙台市出身。早稲田大学卒業。幼少時よりクラシック音楽に親しみ、欧州滞在時 (ポルトガル・ドイツ・イタリア) に各地の音楽シーンに通暁。欧州ジャズとクラシックを中心にジャンルを超えて新譜・コンサート/ライヴ評、演奏会プログラムの執筆、翻訳などを手がける。