Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Tootie Heath: Live At The Village Vanguard
Drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, 77, has certainly played thousands of gigs like this one, where he's hired to bring his casual brilliance to the extended songbook of jazz standards. After all, he played on John Coltrane's first album as a leader, and with every other name in hard bop from the late 1950s onward. In contrast, pianist Ethan Iverson's schedule currently revolves around touring with The Bad Plus, a band whose repertoire almost entirely omits common-practice jazz. But away from the main unit, Iverson makes it a point to play the classics with his musical elders. Bassist Ben Street always provides an able pivot: He has already been asked to play in five other sets for the Live at the Village Vanguard series (including a date with Iverson in the Billy Hart Quartet).
The promise of a week at New York's Village Vanguard with Iverson and Street lured Heath from his southern California base. One recording of this unit, Live at Smalls, was made in late 2009; here comes another. In a spacious, wry set of standards and blues heads, the trio of Ethan Iverson, Ben Street and Tootie Heath played this set for WBGO and NPR Music's live broadcast.
Guest Host: Matt Wilson; Supervising Producer: Simon Rentner; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes. Recorded Aug. 22, 2012 at The Village Vanguard in New York, N.Y.
Copyright 2012 WBGO