Aaron Diehl Joins Generations on Space Time Continuum
When I first started to listen to jazz it was mostly the guitar of Wes Montgomery and the Hammond B3 of Jimmy Smith, but through the years I started adding other artists. Pianist like Thelonious Monk and Oscar Peterson were added to my music library, along with Miles, Gary Burton and Milt Jackson. One night a few years ago I put on The Bespoke Man’s Narrative from Aaron Diehl, while I was reading. After a few minutes I stopped reading and listened to some unbelievable piano! Along with Diehl’s piano on that album I also loved the vibraphone of Warren Wolf on the album. Anyway, a few weeks ago Diehl’s new album Space,Time, Continuum joined my music rotation and it’s another outstanding outing from a great pianist. What surprised me was the presence of some fine saxophone and trumpet, which I hadn’t heard on Diehl’s previous albums.
After listening to the album a few times I went to Aaron Diehl’s website where I learned that the saxophones that I heard belonged to a couple of jazz icons in their 80’s, 86-year-old tenor saxophonist Benny Golson and 85-year-old baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley. The trumpet that I heard belongs to an up and coming trumpeter Bruce Harris.
I also discovered that, Aaron Diehl says that the reason he chose to collaborate with Golson and Temperley was all about paying tribute to jazz’s history and two of the genre’s legends. The joining of the old guard with the new fits the theme of Space, Time, Continuum. In an interview Mr. Diehl said
“A lot of times we look at jazz in eras,” “How can we not keep those eras separate and think of the language as one complete continuum? It’s all interrelated and it’s all evolutionary.”
Aaron Diehl and Benny Golson’s paths have crossed previously. First in 2006 when Golson was asked by Julliard, to compose a piece for its centennial celebration. Mr. Diehl was the pianist and impressed Mr Golson. A couple of years later, Mr. Golson was appearing in Columbus, Ohio and found that Mr. Diehl also was on the bill. Mr. Golson says this about the music of Aaron Diehl
“When I think about Aaron, I think about surprises,” “He’s not dealing with musical arithmetic, he’s dealing with feelings and emotions, things that will move people emotionally, mentally and physically, make the head bob and the foot pat.”
While Aaron Diehl pays homage to jazz’s history on Space Time Continuum through his collaboration with Golson and Temperley, he modern jazz artists also appear on the album in a rhythm section composed of drummer Quincy Davis and bassist David Wong and another saxophonist Stephen Riley.
Joe Temperley’s baritone saxophone is featured on the track “The Steadfast Titan”, while “Flux Capacitor”, a salute to the Back to the Future film trilogy features Stephen Riley. Both are great tracks!
My favorite track is the 13 minute-long “Organic Consequence”. The piece an Aaron Diehl original was composed for Yale University’s Environmental Film Festival Benny Golson’s tenor sax stands out on the track along with Bruce Harris’ trumpet.
Two of my other favorites “Uranus” and “Broadway Boogie Woogie” feature Aaron Diehl at his rollicking best!! Then there’s “Kat’s Dance” oh, hell there I go again, all the tracks are great in their own way!
Bottom Line: Aaron Diehl’s Space Time Continuum is an outstanding addition to any jazz fan’s musical library. It combines the past with the future and isn’t that what jazz is all about!! The album just has great performances from a variety of jazz legends and legends to be!! Check it Out!! Rating:*****
Links for Further Explorations of the Music of Aaron Diehl and Space Time Continuum.
Here’s the Aaron Diehl Quartet performing “Bag’s Groove” featuring Warren Wolf on vibes!