For All We Know

David Hazeltine For All We Know Smoke Sessions ***

Another of the batch of eight Smoke Sessions releases just made available this one features Seamus Blake once again (he’s on Eric Reed’s Groovewise) joining another pianist leader here, David Hazeltine, bassist David Williams, and drummer Joe Farnsworth (who appeared on Harold Mabern’s Right on Time). Hazeltine’s tune ‘Et Cedra’ opens the album giving Blake loads of space to roam very unselfconsciously. Hazeltine also contributes four other of his own tunes, paying tribute to Cedar Walton who had died just a few weeks before these live sessions on ‘Lord Walton’ as well as ‘Et Cedra’, Pooh’, and ‘My Ship’, based on a Walton arrangement. Eddie Harris, who Hazeltine in the notes recalls playing with when he himself was just a teenager, is celebrated on the composition of the same name.

The album also includes versions of Bird’s ‘Cheryl’, and the Van Heusen/Johnny Burke classic ‘Imagination’ a song Hazeltine has often played accompanying singer Marlena Shaw. There’s also a very slow exquisite rendering of ‘For All We Know’, the title track, Blake excelling. Recorded over a couple of nights at Smoke in September last year it’s an album delivered with a lot of love, deeply marinated in the best traditions of the hard bop and modern mainstream line. SG