Billy Hart: Oceans of Time

As time and the respect of his peers steadily polish his reputation, drummer Billy Hart has quietly been building a unique sound and a fascinating book of music, performed by a very solid band. On this, Hart’s second Arabesque Jazz release, Chris Potter on tenor and soprano saxes and bass clarinet joins John Stubblefield on saxes, Mark Feldman on violin, and the remarkable rhythm section of David Fuczynski, guitar; David Kikoski, piano and Santi Debriano, bass. The ensemble concept works from an acoustic foundation, with violin, reeds and guitar layering on timbral and textural range. What Hart seeks, and finds, in his bandmates is that ability to shift gears, to move from inside to outside, to follow his rhythmic cues from the realm of dense, atmospheric arrangements into more direct renderings of the blues sensibility. Hart’s inherent lyricism holds it all together, interacting freely with the beat without ever losing the swing factor. This is truly a band worth hearing.