Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Richard Sussman Quintet

Here is the perfect find! A 1978 album that is pretty obscure, but sounds like it was recorded yesterday.  Ken Laster could sneak it in to his podcast and tell us it was recorded around the corner last month.  Sussman plays piano, Tom Harrell trumpet and flugelhorn, Jerry Bergonzi tenor sax, Larry Schneider tenor and other horns, Mike Richmond bass, and Jeff Williams drums. 

I gather that Sussman made his living mostly doing pop music.  Well, at least he made a living.  This album is one for the core collection.  The piano work is very fine.  It's mostly straight bop with a very advanced, smooth edge.  Some of it will tilt the ear of you avant garde fans.  I have a sample, with some fine Tom Harrell playingon it.
Richard Sussman Quintet/Free Fall/Free Fall
This is one of the more hard cuts on the disc.  You can get it at eMusic for a song.  Now: post some comments, you slouchers.  I am feeling unappreciated. 


  1. Since you share great music with us, someone needs to share some music with you.
    I mentioned this group (the Atlantis Quartet) a while back, but I dunno if you ever got around to checking them out. They're pretty sweet, so you should definitely check 'em out if you haven't already. The sax player especially is ridiculously good.
    Also good is the James Buckley Trio (another local group here in the Twin Cities).
    Those three plus the sax player from the Atlantis Quartet make up a quartet that played probably the best live jazz I've heard. Sadly, they haven't made any recordings and aren't on Youtube yet.


  2. Thanks, John. I am listening to the first clip as I write this. It is quite good. I have an Atlantis Quartet recording saved on my eMusic list, at your earlier recommendation. I will get to it! I like the sax, bass, guitar, drums combination.

  3. It's too bad their new album (Animal Progress) isn't on eMusic yet, but Again, Too Soon is good too, though Animal Progress is definitely better. Also, if you get a chance to listen to the whole gig of their's on Youtube that the clip I linked ya too is from, you should. Especially the last chart, Verge. I've heard them play Verge live a few times, but that night was the best I've heard them do it yet.

    I also want to say that you, along with the guitarist from my combo, were instrumental in getting me into avant garde music (jazz and otherwise). I would've had no interest in jazz that isn't just straightforward stuff, like A Love Supreme, prior to finding your blog in March of last year. Since then I not only have gotten (and loved) A Love Supreme, I've even gotten Ascension, and have enjoyed listening to parts of it at times... I'm even thinking about dabbling in free jazz a bit with my combo. Amazing what can happen just from throwing a bunch of words and music up on an internet page hoping someone will read/listen to it, eh? So thanks for that.


  4. John: your comment warms my heart. Turning my readers on to good jazz is what this blog is all about. Like you, I was once a straight ahead jazz fan. In fact, I still am. But I have learned to enjoy a much wider range of music.

    Just between the two of us, I think that hardbop is still where it is really at. But the best avant garde has a lot to add. I have noted on more than one occasion that AG pioneers like Anthony Braxton bring a lot back when they put their mouthpieces to straight bop.

    Thanks for the comment.