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Dick Titterington: Yellow Dance

Dick Titterington doesn’t wear his technique on his sleeve, but his chops are apparent in demanding octave leaps on “Lose the Crowd,” his wry wah-wah assertions and chromatic intervals on his 7/4 composition “Lunky” and his crisp dispatch of the tricky bridge of Thelonious Monk’s “Trinkle Tinkle.” Without piano or guitar, Titterington and bassist Scott Steed indicate harmonies rather than take direction from a chording instrument, while drummer Todd Strait provides time and accents. Titterington has inspiration to match his execution, and on two tracks guest tenor saxophonist Rob Davis has ideas to match Titterington’s. Flutist Tim Jensen is the other horn on Titterington’s “Seams” and Joao Donato’s “Minha Saudade.” On “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” and “Alice in Wonderland,” Randy Porter lays down functional harmonic carpets on melodica rather than on his customary piano. “Seams” appears to be an exercise in wistfulness until Titterington’s solo turns it slightly acidic.

Later, Titterington ranges freely through an abstract one-minute introduction accompanied only by drums. He adds the bassist and improvises in slow time, not disclosing until the last chorus that the tune is “You’re a Lucky Guy,” beloved of Louis Armstrong and Clifford Brown. It’s a fine “aha” moment.

Originally Published