A musical happy place between a string quartet and a Dixieland band was the initial conceptual sound that Ken Hatfield had envisioned For Langston. The initial concept for the arrangement was similar to that of a harmonic exploratory between the lyrical or melodic feel to the ensemble and the rhythmic feel to arguably one of the greatest poets of our time. Not unlike so many other artists that have tried and had great success using the fund fairing service "kick starter" there is no difference between "then" and "now" with kick starter again coming through in the clutch for those that eventually rise to the top of the proverbial musical food chain.
The band itself includes "A" list talent such as vocalist Hilary Garderner, flutist Jamie Baum, bass playing phenom Hans Glawischnig and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. Percussionist Steve Kroon rounds out the rhythm section and makes a good rhythm section turn great with minimal effort. Together these instrumentalists work in a unique form and functionality to the spirit of traditional jazz simply set to music if the form of a sing cycle while losing none of the original integrity of the original work.
The creative spark behind this particular piece of work is that of poetry with the ability to be easily set to music. A used copy of The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes was the ground work that this stellar recording would be built around if not upon. Hughes lived from 1902 to 1967 and these were important years for the country to come together as one. With form, functionality and musical integrity fully in tact, For Langston raises the bar of creativity enough for other artists to pursue their own versions of poetry set to music.
A Sublime effort effort from an experienced professional allows a good recording to take flight and become great.
Tracks: Overture; Dream Boogie; Not What Was; Breath Of A Rose; I don't Believe In Titles; Lonely Nocturne; In Time Of Silver Rain; Prayer; Silent One; Poem To A Dead Soldier; Song Of The Revolution; Convent/Silence; Jazzonia; The Bells Toll Kindly.
Personnel" Ken Hatfield: guitar; Hilary Gardner: vocals; Jamie Baum: Alto Flute; Hans Glawischnigh: bass: Jeff Hirshfield: drums: Steve Kroon: Percussion.