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Archives: Small Town

The first time I’ve been in the Village Vanguard, as a teenager, was when Keith Jarrett had been playing there with his American quartet adding another percussionist. A rather small space, historic value tends to make places bigger. Of course I had only been there with my ears listening to Jarrett’s fantastic Fort Yawuh. Every jazz lover has a collection of records that had been recorded there, a jazz power spot of sorts. Paul Motian was part of the Fort Yawuh-performance, and memories of the late drummer were lingering through the space with its warm acoustics when Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan entered the club and started playing Motian’s composition „It Should Have Happenend A Long Time Ago“. Only guitar and bass, and the way they evoke these sepia-tinged colour fields, immediately haunts you. There is nothing radical about their playing, no wild gestures Frisell used to offer on Andrew Cyrille’s beautiful ECM album, no rocking the field like Frisell did on Lucinda Williams‘ recent Highway trip, and then again, I can be easily mistaken here. Though this gorgeous young bass player and the whitehaired sixtysomething move through history with peace at heart and, as Germans say, „grosser Seelenruhe“, this is not an oldfashioned affair about glorious days. This is exciting in all its quietness, you don’t wanna miss a single note. Small Town is a perfect late evening record. Candlelight ist no cliche here, it’s part of the instruction manual.

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