Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gerald Wilson's Dissonance In Blues

Dissonance In Blues has the same dense clusters of reed harmonies that one would expect from Ellington, and the same sort of melodic bass playing (both with bow and without!) that Jimmy Blanton (dead by the time Wilson made this recording) was the progenitor and chief exponent of. It might not be going too far to describe this as a sort of bastard child sired by a dirge blues (a la Black And Tan Fantasy) and the sort of bass-ensemble exchanges that were nowhere better exemplified than in Jack The Bear. The dynamics are also very dramatic in this chart, including some sudden forte intrusions by the brass followed by instantaneous retreats into pianissimo by the reeds (which form a bed of tones over which the bass speaks). This is a real workout in the softer dynamic range for the reeds, and a real workout in melodic playing for the bass. Have fun!

I believe that the only recording ever made of this chart is found on Gerald Wilson: The Chronological Classics: 1946-1954.

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