Terry Plumeri

Reviews

Amazon.com Reviews of Blue In Green

A New Voice In Jazz

Blue In Green has quickly become one of my favorite jazz albums. Not since the Bill Evans Trio of the early sixties, which gave birth to the innovative pizzicato bass playing of Scott LaFaro, has there appeared an album which has exposed such a new and original direction for the acoustic bass. Just as LaFaro defined the shape of things to come in his pizzicato playing on the Village Vanguard recordings of June 25th, 1961, so has Terry Plumeri on his new CD Blue In Green, created the benchmark of bowed acoustic bass solos in the world of standard jazz tunes. The beauty of his singing sound on the bow, as well as the accuracy of his intonation and flowing rhythmic ideas, makes for a very pleasant and unusual experience in listening to acoustic bass improvisations. This I say as a professional jazz bassist of 23 years, as well as a never-ending student of the bass.

The true beauty of this recording is that a new and unique voice has arrived, not only in the world of jazz bass playing but in the world of jazz as a whole. A new voice, which is singing the soul of the music in a fashion yet to be exposed. The vocal quality is so strong, very often you can almost hear the lyrics of the instrumental improvisation.

David Goldblatt on piano, provides an unending sensitivity to the challenge of accompanying a more subdued instrument, very easy to cover in volume. The interplay between Goldblatt and Plumeri, whether it is bass as a lead voice or bass in accompaniment to the piano solo, has a fluent, free flowing and spontaneous personality. The composite effect is that of music which is truly being improvised at the moment of the recording. Goldblatt's choice of notes during his solo improvisations is continually unique and colorful, always carrying the ear to the fresh and unexpected.

Joe La Barbera on drums, gives a solid and sensitively integrated foundation for the flowing counterpoint of Plumeri and Goldblatt. His contribution to the contrapuntal texture always seems to be in complimentary dialog to the rhythmic characters displayed by the bass and piano. La Barbera's drum solos on Beautiful Love, Autumn Leaves and Wayne Shorter's Footprints, are beautifully displayed percussive landscapes of modern drumming.

From a professional musician's point of view, Blue In Green is a welcome addition to the milestone jazz recordings of the past which have given us, not only a new approach to an instrument, but an additional and valid personality to the established voices of Jazz. If you are someone who appreciates the arrival of a new and unique voice, presented in a high level musical environment, I strongly recommend this recording.

KSM

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A Must-Have Ground Breaking CD

Terry Plumeri has been playing the bass with unparalleled virtuosity for decades. His vocal, penetrating solo work can be heard on Roberta Flack's Chapter Two (dating from the '70's), for example.

His earlier solo jazz releases, "He Who Lives in Many Places" and "Ongoing" (recently re-released on CD as "Water Garden") displayed the defining virtuosity that has made Terry legendary among musicians. They also shared some of his beautifully crafted compositions.

One of the great musical minds of our time, Plumeri may be best known now as an orchestral composer and conductor. Before his considerable success in these areas, however, he redefined bass playing, taking the instrument where nobody else had ever gone - true vocal freedom; the ability to play any idea he conceived, beautifully.

This is not a bass player's record - this is a great composer's and musician's record who happens to be a bass virtuoso. Listen to it as if it were John Coltrane or Miles Davis - he plays with that level of freedom, sophistication, and craft.

Many bassists have ground out scratchy licks and chomped out catchy riffs on the bowed instrument. Others have mastered the classical and baroque solo literature with lovely tone and intonation. Still others have composed and conducted.

Nobody else has ever played bowed jazz solos with such intonation, tone, and pure vocal freedom. His accomplishment is unique, intensely beautiful, and musically ground-breaking. While he has been exploring and developing this territory for decades, here is a powerful record of his recent work, beautifully recorded.

This is a record that people will listen to decades from now and wonder at Plumeri's genius. It is easily the most significant jazz bass recording since Bill Evans' "Sunday at the Village Vanguard."

Eric Swanson


 

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