Best of 2017 #08: Red Planet with Bill Carrothers – “Red Planet with Bill Carrothers” (Shifting Paradigm)


There’s a fireplace warmth emitted by the guitar-bass-drums trio Red Planet, and it’s a quality of their music whether the tune be a post-bop or folk jazz piece or an adaptation of something else altogether.  There’s an icy precision to the way that pianist Bill Carrothers delivers a melody, and this is true if it’s framed by a conventional jazz structure or something freer and disembodied from a typical format.  Together, on Red Planet with Bill Carrothers, those opposing characteristics take on a complementary relationship, and the result are dreamy tunes with stark outlines.  What’s remarkable about this recording is that this inimitable sound carries with the same strength whether they are performing an original composition or something by Coltrane or Monk.  This is not in-your-face music.  It’s warm and welcoming and often quite beautiful.  But it’s singular personality makes a huge impression, stamps itself into every note, each phrase, and it’s why the memory of the songs continues to linger long after the album is over.  Just outstanding.

Music from Minneapolis, MN.

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