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The second ECM album by the Billy Hart Quartet is a major musical statement, and one of the outstanding jazz albums of the season. The group's reach - already broad on 2011's widely-acclaimed All Our Reasons - is yet more expansive here. Strong compositions - by leader-drummer Hart, tenorist Mark Turner and pianist Ethan Iverson - reflect upon a wide swathe of the music's history, and are distinguished by vivid and imaginative solos and wonderful interplay.
A basic premise, that this should be a band in which the vastly-experienced Billy Hart gets to play everything he wants to play, has led to a sense of almost unlimited possibility for all participants. There is freedom and joy in this music, and tenderness, too, not least in the set's sole standard, a beautifully-played version of "Some Enchanted Evening".
Billy Hart was there, right on the scene, when jazz began embracing the even-eighth note as a legitimate resource. On this album, his composition "Yard", a blues, connects Charlie Parker with all those grooves Hart played with Jimmy Smith, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and so many others, and the level of abstraction achieved by every member of the group attests to a long working relationship.
One is the Other was recorded in New York in 2013, and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Personnel: Mark Turner (tenor saxophone), Ethan Iverson (piano), Ben Street (double bass), Billy Hart (drums)
(5 stars) The fact that this is a working band is apparent throughout the programme in the rarefied, unbelievably subtle interplay - a mark of deep listening, intuition and so much more. --Jazz Journal, (Nic Jones), June 2014
(4 stars) For anyone open to spontaneous musical conversation, regardless of genre, this beautifully crafted album is likely to appeal - but aficionados will probably get more from it, since veteran drum star and former Herbie Hancock sideman Hart and his superb quartet constantly hint at references from all over the jazz tradition. --The Guardian, (John Fordham), March 14, 2014
(4 stars) Anybody who missed 2012's gorgeous All Our Reasons should use this equally beautiful offering as a chance to catch up...grand lyricism and potent emotional change. --Jazzwise, (Kevin Le Gendre), April 2014
(4 stars) It's a lovely album, warm, varied and full of elastic rhythms, rich harmonies and intense interplay featuring Turner's devious, whispy and emotional tenor sax lines twisting round pianist Iverson's imaginative support. --Financial Times, (Mike Hobart), March 29, 2014
(4 stars) Pianist Ethan Iverson accompanies saxophonist Mark Turner quite beautifully on 'Sonnet for Stevie' where Hart's time keeping and deftly sublimated swing amount to something to savour. --Marlbank, (Stephen Graham), March 1, 2014