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about

Jason Bivins -

Goodness knows why this 1994 date hasn’t seen the light of day previously. But thanks to the good folks at No Business, we can now enjoy this superb duet (if you’re lucky enough to grab one of the 400 copies). It’s always a treat to listen to Burrell engage canonical materials such as these Jelly Roll Morton tunes, though most folks reading this will know that this is no conventional tuba and ivories reverential romp. This isn’t to say that they play without any fidelity to the sources. Just listen to them dig lovingly into Morton’s “The Crave” to start things off; there’s an orneriness to Stewart’s pedals and lines, and Burrell’s own marvelous elaborations on tempo and melody.

Stewart plays way more than a supporting role here. He dials up some gloriously whooping solos, loads of portamento phrases, and some bumpnoxious rhythms. The pair have a great instinct for contrast, too, and are especially fond of juxtaposing bright lyricism with outright hollers. Burrell hits these marks on his own tunes, too, three of which close out the A side. “Popolo Paniolo” is a study in brisk, headlong momentum, with Stewart and Burrell racing through tightly overlapping lines. “I Am His Brother” opens with a glorious dirge, all swirling chords, then follows a brief march before sputtering to a noisy end. And “Pua Mae’Ole” is a gentle transitional piece of sorts, stately and just a touch hymnal in places. The B side is made up of two additional Morton tunes. “New Orleans Blues” is a sheer delight, digging deep into unhurried variations that speak to the abundance in this musical tradition (and it’s also got Stewart’s most righteous playing on this record). Best of all is the deep dive into Morton’s “Spanish tinge” on a brash, emotional “Spanish Swat.” Glorious stuff, very much worth tracking down.

credits

released November 1, 2016

NBLP 100


Recorded live at the Kölner Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany on June 13, 1994

Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas


SIDE A
1. THE CRAVE
2. POPOLO PANIOLO
3. I AM HIS BROTHER
4. PUA MAE ‘OLE

SIDE B
1. NEW ORLEANS BLUES
2. SPANISH SWAT


Dave Burrell - piano
Bob Stewart - tuba

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