Billy Hart Quartet
One Is the Other

It’s free-jazz in the sense of an absence of ‘beat’, say on Billy Hart’s own tune ‘Amethyst’, the presence of fundamental pulse, and above all the interdependence of individual improvisers who track each other's every move every inch of the way, that counts here. And it’s the manner in which the oblique acoustic quartet excursions embrace strong melodic passages that then emerge to bloom rather than shrivel to expire that's remarkable. The ‘tradition in transition’ (that's the path trod by Ornette and Paul Bley, Bill Evans and Paul Motian, and, diverging, Tristano and Warne Marsh) surfacing on the only standard here, the yearning ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ where Hart’s time keeping drawing a little on the well of bassist Ben Street’s tonal resourcefulness achieves maximum impact. Pianist Ethan Iverson accompanies saxophonist Mark Turner quite beautifully on ‘Sonnet for Stevie’ where Hart’s time keeping and deftly sublimated swing amount to something to savour. SG