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Billy Hart's One Is the Other

“He’s not a metronome,” volunteered one of my resident jazz experts on Billy Hart, age 73, who’s logged time with Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Chico Freeman, and three of Miles Davis’s straightest-up hardest-rockin’ sets. And no, he doesn’t set the time he’s assigned to keep, with regularity punctuated by fills. He’s sly, and soft, letting your ears come to him — but if you tried to set a clock by his right hand, you’d find it wandering off into other-dimensional precision. Like a jigsaw he cuts sure, but never the same shapes twice.

One Is the Other finds him alongside tenor man Mark Turner, bassist Ben Street, and pianist Ethan Iverson, all young enough to be his sons, but old enough to sit in musical conversation with the father figure. Turner’s “Lennie Groove” reaches back to pianist Lennie Tristano — doyen of dropped beats, shifting keys, Bach figures swung through a 12/8 feel — but adroitly moistens the slight starch of Tristano concoctions; a flow no less a flow for its passage through a few gates.

If instrumentalists make kinds of emotional sense rather than literal (lyrics-bound) sense, then this is the sound of four men meeting in someone’s clubhouse basement. Not plotting an urban revolution, but formulating their statement through consensus, shaping an overall argument like a shoemaker pulling welt over a wooden foot. All put in, and then Hart, the motor and the soul, nods affirmation. So many different ways to say yes. And so many things to say it to.

  • Album: One Is the Other
  • Artist: Billy Hart Quartet
  • Label: ECM
  • Songs: (1) Lennie Groove (2) Maraschino (3) Teule’s Redemption (4) Amethyst (5) Yard (6) Sonnet for Stevie (7) Some Enchanted Evening (8) Big Trees
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“He’s not a metronome,” volunteered one of my resident jazz experts on Billy Hart, age 73, who’s logged time with Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Chico Freeman, and three of Miles Davis’s straightest-up hardest-rockin’ sets. And no, he doesn’t set the time he’s assigned to keep, with regularity punctuated by fills. He’s sly, and soft, letting your ears come to him — but if you tried to set a clock by his right hand, you’d find it wandering off into other-dimensional precision. Like a jigsaw he cuts sure, but never the same shapes twice.

One Is the Other finds him alongside tenor man Mark Turner, bassist Ben Street, and pianist Ethan Iverson, all young enough to be his sons, but old enough to sit in musical conversation with the father figure. Turner’s “Lennie Groove” reaches back to pianist Lennie Tristano — doyen of dropped beats, shifting keys, Bach figures swung through a 12/8 feel — but adroitly moistens the slight starch of Tristano concoctions; a flow no less a flow for its passage through a few gates.

If instrumentalists make kinds of emotional sense rather than literal (lyrics-bound) sense, then this is the sound of four men meeting in someone’s clubhouse basement. Not plotting an urban revolution, but formulating their statement through consensus, shaping an overall argument like a shoemaker pulling welt over a wooden foot. All put in, and then Hart, the motor and the soul, nods affirmation. So many different ways to say yes. And so many things to say it to.

  • Album: One Is the Other
  • Artist: Billy Hart Quartet
  • Label: ECM
  • Songs: (1) Lennie Groove (2) Maraschino (3) Teule’s Redemption (4) Amethyst (5) Yard (6) Sonnet for Stevie (7) Some Enchanted Evening (8) Big Trees
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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