Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hale Smith's 'Feathers' 'provides a fantastic ending to one of the seminal recordings of jazz'

[Hale Smith (b. 1925) is an African American composer who is profiled at, where a Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma can be found]
Category: 1960s, Avant-Guarde, Essential, Post-Bop, Reviews
Written by Michael Kydonieus
Dolphy ends the date with the haunting Feathers, by the obscure composer Hale Smith. The harmonic progression and melody are surprising but feel inevitable, which is the ultimate tribute to a composer. The natural poignancy of the composition is intensified by the almost guitar-like plucking of thirds by Ron Carter on the cello. Somewhat amusingly, Dolphy chooses not to take the solo at the rubato pace of the head, but instead has Hayes and Duviver provide a gentle swing for his flights on alto. Feathers provides a fantastic ending to one of the seminal recordings of jazz.

Out There is unique in the jazz literature, as far as I know, a mixture of post-bop, chamber music, and the avant guarde. Yet, for jazz fans with a dash of adventure in their souls, it’s remarkably accessible, and well worth seeking out.”

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