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Roland Hanna & Stanley Cowell

Roland Hanna & Stanley Cowell image
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Rotend Ha nna, Perugia, Arista AL1010, Stanley Cowell, Brilliant Circlcs, Arista AL 1009 Perhaps the most appropriate addition to the growing trend in solo piano records and performances is Rolartd Hanna s Perúgla. His knowledge and experience are ideally suited t the solo piano medium, combirring a thorough understanding of both American jazz piano and the ; pean "classic" styles.. Gtowing up in Detroit, Hanna studied European music on hts own and later with severa] instrucAt the same time hc was making jam sesstons out at Thad, Hank and Elvin Jones' house in Pontiac. which frora time to time includcd such Detroit keyboard heavies as j Tommy Flanagan and Barry Harris. After moving to -New'York Hanna studied at Julliard, and in the p3St 1 5 years or so has piayed with Charles Mingus, tlie Thad Jones-Me! Lewis Band, and his own New York Jazz Quartet, among others. Possessing so broad a background, it isn't surprising Ehat Hanna plays in u wide variety of styles. Tiic opening cui, "Take . the 'A' 7 rain," begins in a stride, moves to a walkiii; bass in the letthand, then back . tnto the stride. And the whoie thingcooks. j jast smokes right along. The ballads, Hlington's "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," and Thad Jones' "A Child is Born" are beaunfully paced, lighter. more open sections moving into f uil, dark chords and sweeps up and down the keyboard. Hanna's nmsic is veiy dramatic. He's able to play so much - bass figures, chords, lines. As with Ji is predecessor, the great Art Tatuni. there is never a sense ot' something missing. A rhythm seciioti (baas, drums) wuulii just be i the way. Stanley Cowett's ñrilltant Circles. récorded in l'69, is representalive of one of the most interestingand f ruit ful moveinents, lo my mind. in modern jazz. The best players. thoroughly schooled in both strtictured music and the ayante-garde or free music, have feit the need to draw on both, to litiiize composed structures, and yet keep the range of sounds avuilable to the soloist and ensemble relat iveiy open. -, Stanley puts it, '...! eamo out of my attitude of just doing the free thing. I found that there wasstill a lot of music in playing in a so-calíed convent ional framswork. Thai takesa tifetime tó inaster too. to inaster yourself . . . and to get free within that Framework. We built it to a point where we oould play a blues and play it so mean that if you walkcd in in the tïuddle, yon súre wouldn"t be hearing tit) fingcr-poppin' be-bop." The playcis on BrÖliani Cu well-piano, Bobby Hutcherson-vibe!, Tyrone Washington-recds, Woody Sliawtrumpet, Reggie Workman-báss, and Joe Chambers-tirums) are really somc of the best around New York. Dig Workman's solo on the title cut. and Shaw and Wa ington on Shaw's finger-poppin' "Boo Anne's Grand". And Stanley Ooweil, originaliy front Detroit, lias everythiistechnique, imagina t ton, or jginaUty. His contribution tlnougbout is simply some of the meanest. most happening piano playing to be heard anywhere.