Doug Hall Quartet


Heart Music

Doug hall, piano; Adam Kolker, tenor, soprano saxophones, bass clarinet; John Herbert, bass; Bruce Hall, drums

Satisfying, that's the word! True to the Buddhist leanings attributed to the album, although there are some exciting moments, happiness is not the aim. You come away feeling that you have heard something of worth. Something satisfying- and, anyway, these guys swing like hell. Musical ability is high on the list here. When our kids were nine we were still sucking their bits of Lego into our vacuum cleaner, while Hall was debuting with the Dallas Symphony at that age. Kolker's solos are considered, perfectly logical, and beautifully swinging extensions of a melody line. When Hall takes over, his runs are fluent and executed with a glorious touch and subsequent tone. His idling, wistful exploration on Under the Rainbow (track 5) is very moving. Hall and Kolker lead, generally, but there must be a special mention for bassist John Herbert, and drummer Bruce Hall. These men do more than their fair share in making this album a complete Kunstwerk. Both supply a high level of creativity. Hall mentions Evans, Hancock, Jarrett and Tyner as early influences, yet I occasionally hear an extremely updated (dare we say it?), improved, although pianistically muted, postbop version, of some of the Red Garland sessions with Coltrane - with Kolker offering a less muscular take on Trane. So there you go! We hope a lot of people will buy this CD. It is splendid. It is satisfying. It is very good Jazz, indeed!

by Lawrence Brazier

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