Jazz of the Week: Loose Blues
Gonna be posting once a week about the jazz music I'm currently listening to so that all may revel, partake, and study this amazing style of music along with me.
So let's just get to it. This week, we're examining a track headlined by jazz pianist Bill Evans, accompanied by Zoot Sims on Saxophone, Jim Hall on guitar, Ron Carter on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums, comprising the Bill Evans quintet.
Evans himself aside, there are a lot of big names on this recording; "Philly Joe" Jones hails from Miles Davis's original quintet, what is commonly referred to as his "great" quintet. Jim Hall is often credited with setting the bar for jazz guitar, alongside Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt. Sims has logged time with some of the era's most famous groups, such as Woody Herman's band, and Ron Carter is the most recorded jazz bassist in history, appearing on over 2,000 different jazz recordings.
One of the things about this track that caught my ear the most was the seamless communication between the players. This is what I love about being an instrumentalist: Your musicianship is truly tested when playing with others. When performed well, when the communication is seamless and when everyone seems to have the same direction in mind, there's nothing like it. This is exactly what Loose Blues captures.
Another thing I like about this recording is the jazz guitar. The lines that Hall is playing are smooth and swing like hell. His guitar tone is fantastic and immensely pleasing upon first listen, even if you know absolutely nothing about jazz guitar. Hall understands the importance of accessibility and utilizes that knowledge to improvise a clean and effective solo.
What do you think?