Eddie Higgins Quartet – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (2002) [Japan 2003]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 67:38 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 2,72 GB
or DSD64 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,67 GB
or FLAC 2.0 (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/48 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 813 MB
A wonderful album by the pianist extraordinaire Eddie Higgins with tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton. These veterans make gorgeous, romantic and beautiful music together. A classic! They are also joined by Steve Gilmore on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums.
Listening to this SACD, which reached a number one chart position in Japan, is like slipping into a bubbly hot tub with a glass of champagne: relaxing and sparkling at the same time. The ever-classy Eddie Higgins Trio is joined throughout by the superb Scott Hamilton, a fluid tenorist in the romantic tradition of Lester Young and Ben Webster, with soul-touching low notes and never a squawk or squeal. Borrowing the perfect image from master critic Whitney Balliett, Hamilton’s sound is like “firelit mahogany.” All the playing here is elegant and swinging: classic material delivered lovingly and without cliché. Higgins’ gentle improvisations are often as beautiful as the original melodies (see, for example, his introduction and solos on the title track). He’s also unique in his use of Bach-inspired counterlines to add depth and interest to the harmony; this is particularly evident on the faster tunes like “It’s a Lonesome Old Town” and “Lullaby of the Leaves,” where these left-hand figures supply extra propulsion and support for Hamilton’s solos. Another distinction is the group’s approach to “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “When the Sun Comes Out,” timeless torch songs that are traditionally angst-ridden features for vocalists; in these hands, the flow of melody transcends any despair associated with the lyrics. Even the opening ballad, “Melancholy Rhapsody,” is lightened by the tenderness of the playing. While the liners are in Japanese, the superb quality of the music needs no translation. Recommended.
01. Melancholy Rhapsody
02. It’s A Lonesome Old Town
03. You Don’t Know What Love Is
04. By Myself
05. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
06. Lullaby Of The Leaves
07. When The Sun Comes Out
08. Love Letters
09. When You Wish Upon A Star
10. All This And Heaven Too
11. You’re My Everything
Eddie Higgins – piano
Scott Hamilton – tenor sax
Steve Gilmore – bass
Bill Goodwin – drums
Produced Tetsuo Hara & Todd Barkan. Engineered by Ketherine Miller.
Recorded on October 2-3, 2001 at “The Studio” in New York.
Mixed * Mastered by Shuji Kitamura & Tetsuo Hara.
Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix. VENUS Japan # TKGV-9.
Ripped direct and unretouched using Pioneer BDP-80FD, Sonore ISO2DSD, and sacd_extract.