Billy Lester – From Scratch (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:06:06 minutes | 695 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Newvelle Records
There’s a radical integrity to Billy’s music. He’s interested in playing exactly what he feels in the moment and nothing else. While certainly many master improvisers are capable of extraordinary feats of improvisation – building castles of sound from the barest of inputs – Billy apparently won’t even bend his concept to adhere to basic narrative conceits. Billy’s creations don’t need to escalate to some pinnacle of expression. They just are.
Most musicians I’ve met, myself included, have spent their time searching for beauty in music. We strive day after day to create something beautiful and unique. Billy Lester presents a counter-thesis. What if one is completely unconcerned with beauty and holds only truth as one’s musical compass?
The “typical” form for a jazz standard is a statement of the melody or “theme” and then a solo or series of solos (melodic improvisations over the harmonic parameters of the piece), then a return to the original melody before coming to some sort of arranged or spontaneous ending. Often on a “standards” record, the band will play each song two times and then we’ll decide later which one we like better. With this session, featuring the legendary all-star rhythm section of Rufus Reid and Matt Wilson, Billy would play just the barest outlines of the melody to start and then take off in whatever direction moved him at that moment. On the second time through the tune, however, he’d count in the band and then play something completely tangential to the melody.
“A pianist of unfailing sensitivity and unpredictable instinct.” (WBGO)
Lester “is one of those artists who’s almost completely unknown but who, once you hear him, stays melded in your mind.” (Slate, Top 10 Records of 2019)
1-1. Billy Lester – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (05:16)
1-2. Billy Lester – These Foolish Things (05:06)
1-3. Billy Lester – Scrapple From The Apple (06:05)
1-4. Billy Lester – Darn That Dream (05:38)
1-5. Billy Lester – How Deep Is The Ocean (02:34)
1-6. Billy Lester – Back Home In Indiana (04:49)
1-7. Billy Lester – Body and Soul (04:58)
1-8. Billy Lester – Yesterdays (03:32)
1-9. Billy Lester – I Surrender Dear (06:01)
1-10. Billy Lester – I’ll Remember April (02:58)
1-11. Billy Lester – Just Friends (05:39)
1-12. Billy Lester – Out of Nowhere (04:56)
1-13. Billy Lester – There Will Never Be Another You (03:57)
1-14. Billy Lester – These Foolish Things (Alternate Take) (04:34)