Time Remembered: The Music of Bill Evans


No Stinking Badges

Chris Kelsey

The first time I heard someone refer to “The Jazz Police,” it was the 1980s and I was a music-school undergrad. I didn't exactly get it then, but I did before long, and over the ensuing decades, the peculiar aptness of the term would be pounded home again and again. It seemed everywhere you looked there was a self-deputized commissar ready to exile heretics to the gulag for diverging from party dogma. “Hey comrade lead alto player,” they'd say in Robin Williams's voice from the film Moscow on the Hudson, “you're not using enough vibrato on 'April in Paris.'” “Hey comrade drummer, you must use brushes on 'Polka Dots and Moonbeams.” “Hey comrade trumpet player, when you play 'Perdido' you must not sound like Lester Bowie.”

Thank God things have changed. Heh-heh. Yeah, right.

Happy House Plays Ornette

Happy House Band — Chris Kelsey, Pat Hall, Joe Gallant, Dean Sharp

When presented with the opportunity to put a group together, Chris Kelsey and I quickly decided to do Ornette Coleman’s early stuff.

We talked about how much we loved those records and how it’s so hard to imagine now the controversy this music caused in the late fifties; these quirky, logical melodies that are so familiar to most of us now.

And then we started to lay down some rules. It must swing. That’s what made those records so great, they swung. Ed Blackwell, Billy Higgens, Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro, Don Cherry and Ornette seemed to have this Vulcan mind-meld connection to each other. The two horns need to breathe, bend, attack, sustain as one.

So with these things in mind we reached out to Dean Sharp and Joe Gallant and after the first rehearsal it was obvious to all of us that this was going to be something really special. The final product of this recording has surpassed my wildest hopes and expectations.
— Pat Hall

Saxophonist Chris Kelsey, trombonist Pat Hall, bassist Joe Gallant and drummer Dean Sharp take a fresh look at the paradigm-altering music from Ornette Coleman's early period, creating an extraordinary album of open, nearly telepathic swing.



New On Unseen Rain Records

"Masterful trombonist Pat Hall, known for his limitless jazz and Latin excursions, conceived of a group where he could incorporate a sheen of electronica into open electric jazz mayhem. Bassist Joe Gallant and drummer/producer Bruce Ditmas provide futuristic sound canvases, sometimes wild, sometimes gentle, for Pat's trombone, reborn via live laptop treatments and Jack DeSalvo's electric guitar odysseys into and beyond distant galaxies. A K3rnelPaN1c (kernel panic) is what a computer operating system does when it finds a fatal error from which there is no return."