Sheebang Hovering On The Edge
Mar 192006

Hazel Scott – Relaxed Piano Moods

Delicate, by-the-fire music. Your heart just wants to wrap itself around these sounds, keep them close, promise to take care of them because they are so precious.

Put Ms Scott—Trinidad-born, Julliard-trained prodigy of the piano—in Rudy Van Gelder’s recording studio on a cold winter night in 1955 with Charles Mingus and his bass, Max Roach and his drums, and the freedom afforded her by the record label founded and owned by these two eminent members of her rhythm section, and what you get is magnificence.

The trio converses so effortlessly with one another. Hazel Scott—also a classical pianist who has soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and others—leads the exchange with musical intimations so breathtaking and inviting that Mingus and Roach can’t help but dive right in and support what she has to say with their own musical expressions of strength, humor, and subtlety.

Years later, Mingus would play quite a bit with a fellow named Pullen. I’m no musicologist, but as a big fan of Don Pullen i have to think he must have spent some important wee hours in his formative years with this Hazel Scott record.

So thank you to Hazel Scott, a shout out of thanks to one with the capability and courage to lead leaders.

Have a listen. A good deep one.

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