Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Mark Whitfield - Fingerpainting (1997)

Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Mark Whitfield - Fingerpainting (1997)
EAC rip | FLAC + CUE + LOG | Full Scans | FileSonic/FileServe
Genre ~ Crossover Jazz | Label ~ PolyGram/Verve

This is a rather unusual tribute to Herbie Hancock on a couple different levels. There is no piano on the date, so obviously no one is heard trying to sound like Hancock; the intimate all-star trio (bassist Christian McBride, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and guitarist Mark Whitfield) avoids such typical Hancock hits as "Watermelon Man" and "Maiden Voyage," and several of the songs are real obscurities. The 14 Hancock compositions date from 1962-79, with one tune from 1985, so they do not cover his later output. Among the lesser-known tunes are the title track (first played by V.S.O.P.), "Sly" (from the Headhunters LP), and two melodies taken from the 1965 soundtrack of Blow-Up. Several of the songs (most notably "Driftin'") deserve to be revived more widely. Payton, whose versatility has in the past allowed him to emulate both Louis Armstrong and Freddie Hubbard with equal skill, here generally plays like himself, a Young Lion with a warm tone and an inventive style. Whitfield holds the group together, whether playing straight-ahead or adding a bit of funk to "Chameleon" and "Sly." McBride shows throughout why he is rightfully considered a young giant. Due to the many unfamiliar themes and offbeat instrumentation (which includes a duet apiece featuring each of the three possible combinations), this is a CD that takes a few listens to fully appreciate, but it is worth the effort. An underrated gem. ~Allmusic

01. Fingerpainting (5:57)
02. Driftin' (4:29)
03. Chameleon (5:04)
04. Tell Me a Bedtime Story (4:44)
05. The Eye of the Hurricane (3:36)
06. The Kiss (from Blow-Up) (5:33)
07. Speak Like a Child (6:39)
08. The Sorcerer (4:42)
09. Dolphin Dance (3:53)
10. Chan's Song (from 'Round Midnight) (4:08)
11. One Finger Snap (4:01)
12. Sly (3:54)
13. Oliloqui Valley (5:57)
14. Jane's Theme (4:04)

All compositions by Herbie Hancock

Christian McBride - bass
Nicholas Payton - trumpet and flugelhorn
Mark Whitfield - electric and acoustic guitars

Produced by Richard Seidel and Don Sickler
Recorded by Jim Anderson
Recorded April 6-8, 1997 direct to two track at Effanel Sound, New York
Assistant Engineers: Brian Kingman and Kristina Schwarz
Mastered by Allan Tucker at Foothill Digital, New York
Production Coordinator: Camille Tominaro
Illustration by Sergio Baradat
Photographs by Jimmy Katz/Giant Steps
Art Direction and Design: Patricia Lie
Release Coordination: Nate Herr