Walter Norris R.I.P.

I always liked hearing a taste of Norris's romantic harmony with Pepper Adams, Chet Baker, George Mraz, and others.  His best things were ballads.  A long station in Europe seemed to suit him; surely countless local musicians learned some of the secrets of '50s-era Hollywood voice-leading when gathered around his warm voice.

Paradoxically, Norris is best known to Americans as the pianist on Ornette Coleman's first disc of not-quite free jazz, Something Else!  (I have written extensively about this album already.)  But today, check out Walter Norris dealing with the romantic language.  The style of "Ad Astra" with Adams suits him perfectly.  "A Child Is Born" with Mraz is perfect, too.

 

11/01/2011

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