Suite: The Music of Claude BollingThe Rex Bell Hot Hands Band
Suite:Music of Claude Bolling
Infrared Music IR97001

Rex Bell, acoustic piano and keyboards; Cynthia Farrell, flute; Dave Rogers, drums and percussion; Joe Vick, acoustic bass

Back in the seventies when French pianist and composer Claude Bolling first released Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano, Picnic Suite, and Suite for Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Piano Trio, the thought of Jazz and classical music in bed together was radical and a bit thought-provoking. Now, some twenty years later, the tunes that Bolling introduced in this format are so familiar to our ears that it's about time for a fresh reworking by others.

And a fresh reworking is what we get in this exquisite new album by keyboardist Rex Bell. Drawing from three Bolling works, Bell gives us three separate takes on the French composer's works. First, he and his trio play the selections from the famous Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano in the classical mannerexactly as written. Then, on Picnic Suite, a work originally written for flute, guitar, piano, bass, and drums, he alters the instrumentation, substituting an ethereal-sounding piano synth for guitar. And lastly, on Suite for Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Piano Triowell, you get the point. Just go hear it!

There are many more surprises in store on this fine album which signals that Bolling's works have achieved the status of true Jazz standards.

by Nina J. Hodgson

 Suite: Music of Claude Bolling is available through the Jazz Now Direct CD Store.