Nagel Heyer BSIN01867534
Reinhart, Randy / Thilo, Jesper / Sextet - For Basie
”THIS CENTENARY TRIBUTE to Count Basie is happily much more than a well-intentioned repertory project. Having jazz musicians recreate famous recordings can be exhilarating but is more often an odd expenditure of creative energies. Even better, this tribute is not restricted to long versions of One O’Clock Jump and Jumpin’ At The Woodside.
What this band has done, lightly and politely, as Louis Armstrong said, is to tip their hats to a musical way of thinking and feeling epitomized by the Basie band and its smaller spinoffs in the great prewar period. This sextet plays in the great tradition but levitates it with their own inventiveness, which is what Basie, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Jo Jones and the others did as a matter of course, as the broadcasts prove. The one direct emulation of a recording – Jesper Thilo’s version of Lester’s magnificent solo on the Jones-Smith, Inc. Lady Be Good – is beyond criticism, because that solo is a composition equal to any Schubert song, and no one complains when anyone sings those notes as written.
To summon up Basie, you need a fleet, unified rhythm section but really only two soloists: trumpet and tenor (although a trombone is always nice). Soloists who know the virtues of passionate simplicity, an uncluttered feeling, medium-to-up tempos, and you’re off! And this international sextet (Danish, American, Italian and German) has succeeded nobly…
…a listener will take the most pleasure from the way this sextet works as a band: the opening choruses of Moten Swing meld 1937-38 broadcasts with the ambiance of Basie’s late Pablo recordings; the trades between Randy and Jesper animate I Would Do Most Anything For You well beyond what we might expect. Undecided and Lester Leaps In are intense but never tense, pulsing but comfortable. The result is simultaneously modern and nostalgic, idiomatic and timeless.
Jake Hanna, who knows swing from the inside out, once told me: ‘You get too far away from Basie, you’re just kidding yourself.’ Words to live by, sisters and brothers!” (Michael Steinman, Great Neck, New York, 2006)
Randy Reinhart (trumpet, trombone), Jesper Thilo tenor sax, clarinet, vocals), Rossano Sportiello (piano), Rudolf “Pluto” Kemper (guitar), Nico Gastreich (bass), Moritz Gastreich (drums).
11 Tracks. Recorded live on October 10, 2004 at Birdland Jazzclub, Hamburg, by Dieter Reichert. Total Time: 78.59.