Bill Charlap – Live at Scullers

Bill CharlapBill Charlap
Live at Scullers

Jan 31, 2002
by Matthew S. Robinson

It was a demographically mixed crowd that gathered at Boston’s warmest jazz room to hear Blue Note artist Bill Charlap do his thing on the piano, backed by the drum n’ bass team of Tony and Peter Washington (no apparent relation). As Charlap mixed precise placements with varied feels, Peter’s fingers blurred along his oaken neck as Tony offered uninventive lines broken by occasional snare pounds and late fills. John Carese’s “Israel” was a snappy tour of the Holy Land; easy going and free of violence, yet not so spiritual.

The soul arrived soon enough, however, in the form of Harold Arlen’s “Blues in the Night,” in which Charlap’s moonlit keys peaked through Peter’s foggy bass as Tony plodded along. When not playing, Charlap got even deeper into the moment, rising off his bench and contorting his body and soul to the accompaniments in hi s head. G.G. Grace’s “Satellite” was also truer to its title, spinning and exploring in a long loping orbit. After Charlap posed the musical question “Where Have You Been” (as in the Cole Porter song), the Washingtons responded with firm and stronger fills.

The instantly recognizable “Lady is a Tramp” established the story as a melancholy remembrance and then meandered off to play. When the trio entered for the peppy second chorsu, the roels reversed as Charlap comped for the bass melody. A trickly left-handed “Stardust” prepared to send the happy audience back into the night, but Charlap even suggested a venue-appropraite means of transport with his bouncy and very un-titular “Slow Boat to China,” which almost blew itself out of the water before pulling back into port.

Leave a Reply

JazzUSA Merchandise
BlackUSA History

Thelma 'Butterfly' McQueen Actress [...]

Richard Wright Writer [...]

Morgan State College Morgan State College founded [...]

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority emerged on Howard University in 1913. Twenty-two college women committed [...]

The First Black Sorority was formed on the campus of Howard University. The brainchild of Ethel Hedg [...]

Omega Psi Phi (ΩΨΦ) is an international fraternity with over 700 undergraduate and graduate chapters [...]

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Anti-lynching crusader and journalist. [...]

Alpha Phi Alpha Alpha Phi Alpha [...]

At the 1988 Olympic trials, while outfitted in a one-legged purple track suit and sporting four inch [...]

On Memorial Day in 1948, the Columbia River, swirling fifteen feet above normal, punched a hole in a [...]

Big Joe Turner R&B Pioneer [...]

Crispus Attucks First person to die in the American Revolution. [...]

Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Advocate [...]

Paul Lawrence Dunbar Poet, Author [...]

Marjorie Joyner First African American Female Patent Holder [...]