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Sea Changes

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 22, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

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Detroit-born pianist Tommy Flanagan worked in many bebop groups in the '40s and '50s. An accompanist for Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald in the '60s, Flanagan also recorded with Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Kenny Dorham, and Dizzy Gillespie. Along with Ellis Larkins and Hank Jones, Flanagan is one of jazz's most elegantly expressive stylists. The track "Dear Old Stockholm" from this CD was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. Flanagan is supported here by his usual collaborators, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. --Stanley Booth

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sea Changes
  2. Verdandi
  3. Delarna
  4. Eclypso
  5. How Deep Is The Ocean
  6. C.C. Rider
  7. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
  8. Beat's Up
  9. I Cover The Waterfront
  10. Relaxin' At Camarillo
  11. Dear Old Stockholm


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Evidence
  • ASIN: B0000014NX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,317 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This ranks in my top three jazz trio albums of the moment (my other two being "Bill Evans Trio; Sunday at the Village Vanguard" and "Alan Broadbent Trio; Personal Standards"). This album has some of the most crisp, concise trio playing I have ever heard. Tommy Flanagan is a superb melodist, which makes the album shine. All of the tunes on here are filled with lyrical playing that will stick in your head for a long long time (listen to the title track; you'll like it). Dear Old Stockholm is a solo piano arragement, and it is beautiful.
Every track on this album is worth your time. If you are looking for very cool, melodic jazz then look no further.
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Format: Audio CD
Sadly,here is one of the last record by the immense Tommy Flanagan (1930-2001).One of the best ones ? Difficult to say yes,because he committed some fifteen or twenty albums of the same level;maybe not as great as "Sunset and the mockingbird" (one of the most amazing piano records of all times),but...
This exceptionnal album was recorded in New York City,March 11 and 12,1996,with two outstanding musicians: bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash.Both used to play with Tommy for many years.This CD includes many compositions by Tommy:"Sea changes",the very boppish "Verdandi"(it surely could have been written by Bud Powell),"Darlana","Eclypso","Beat's up";some great standards,Irving Berlin's "How deep is the ocean",Harold Arlen's "Between the devil and the deep blue sea",and Johnny Green's "I cover the waterfront";a Bird's song,"Relaxin' at Camarillo";an old blues,and a magnificent one,by Ma Rainey,"See see rider",and a traditionnal,the haunting "Dear old Stockholm".And I think that this sublime version of "Dear old Stockholm",a magnificent tune so rarely played by jazz musicians (Miles Davis,John Coltrane and a few others) is the absolute masterpiece of this album.Tommy's interpretation of this tune makes me think of Tadd Dameron's writing;this is a compliment,as I consider Tadd Dameron (1917-1965) as one of the most important writers and arrangers in jazz,with Duke,Monk and Benny Carter.
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I don't think Tommy Flanagan ever played anything, either as a leader or a sideman, that wasn't worth hearing. From first note to last "Sea Changes" features the same impeccable muscianship we (and a myriad of his fellow musicians who were blessed to have him on their own sessions) came to expect from him......maybe to count on him is a more appropriate way to put it. What I didn't know about was his skill as a composer: five of the eleven tunes here are Flanagan originals. The uptempo "Verdandi" leads to some rollicking playing all around, while "Delarna" is a lovely ballad; the other three pieces are quite good too. Another highlight is Flanagan's bluesy piano on Ma Rainey's "C.C. Rider" and.....well let me finish by just saying that every cut has much to recommend it. Bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash (great brush work!) offer able support throughout. Fine Flanagan as expected!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I attended Berklee I was asked to submit a written statement of my goals. "To sound like Bud Powell" was my answer. I knew I didn't have the harmonic genius of Tatum or the brilliance and power of Oscar, but Bud seemed more accessible, even though his lines could be complex and ultra-hip in the manner of Bird and Diz. I left Berklee partly satisfied but not sounding any more like prime-time Bud than when I entered. Then I heard Tommy Flanagan, and I completely revised my notion about jazz piano requiring an artist who could play intricate lines beyond the reach of most other pianists (let alone listeners' understanding).

Tommy's lines are contained, eloquent, resourceful--never more than what's needed, and never short on the thought that belongs to the moment, and only that moment. When it comes to single note lines, no pianist has a more distinctive touch (including Oscar, Bill, Wynton), and that's the key not only to hearing and understanding what Tommy's doing but the litmus test that any bassist or drummer must be able to meet in order to get a second night with the Flanagan trio.

His is an art of "scale." On the few occasions that he doesn't satisfy, the reason can be traced to the musician--rhythm player or horn soloist--who is incapable of "playing down" to Flanagan's exquisitely and finely tuned dynamic scale. He's not going to "play up" to you--no bombast, no formulaic licks, no ultra-modern chord voicings, no special "arrangements." He simply plays the tune and improvises on the changes--an art that's as natural as flowers blooming, fruit ripening, Billie Holiday's singing in the 1930s. And the players who "catch on" become "extensions" of the leader's own voice, discovering through Tommy a voice they never knew they had.
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