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SIR ROLAND HANNA

This Must Be Love

PROGRESSIVE PCD-7030

 

 

  1. Orange Funk [4:40]

  2. This Canít Be Love [4:05]

  3. Itís A Small World [4:29]

  4. The Interloper [4:46]

  5. It Never Ended My Mind [3:24]

  6. Thou Swell [4:47]

  7. I Didnít Know What Time It Was [5:31]

  8. Dancing On The Ceiling [4:07]

  9. My Romance [5:13]

    Bonus Tracks

  10. This Canít be Love #1 [3:04]

  11. Itís A Small World #1 [4:12]

  12. Dancing On The Ceiling #3 [4:20]

  13. My Romance #1 [6:02]

Total Running Time: [58:58]


Sir Roland Hanna Piano

George Mraz Bass

Ben Riley Drums

Recorded in New York February 2, 1978

Produced by Lars Edegran


Sir Roland Pembroke Hanna (1932-2002) was a master jazz pianist and a student of the art.

Born in Detroit, Michigan he studied classical music at an early age, and later switched to jazz after meeting fellow jazz pianist Tommy Flanagan in high school. Some of his early musical influences include fellow pianists Eubie Blake, Art Tatum and Hank Jones. During his well-traveled career, Sir Roland composed over 400 pieces for ensembles, orchestras and jazz soloists, arranged music for Sarah Vaughan, and performed with Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra among many others. In 1970 he was knighted by the President of Liberia for his humanitarian work in that country. In his later years Sir Roland became a music professor at Queens College in New York. On this disc he is joined by long-time jazz associates George Mraz on bass and Ben Riley on drums.

This disc has six songs from the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart songbook. This Canít Be Love from the 1938 musicalThe Boys From Syracuse, is a tight, fast arrangement with creative piano runs and some fine solo turns by both the bass and drums. Thou Swell from the 1927 musical A Connecticut Yankee showcases a more block-style of piano technique similar to George Shearingís with full, rich piano chords. It Never Ended My Mind was introduced in the 1940 musical Higher and Higher, and here it shines as a slow thoughtful reverie, beautifully performed with great feeling as a solo piano number. My Romance appeared in the 1935 musical Jumbo, followed in 1939 by I Didnít Know What Time It Was, from the musical Too Many Girls.

Both of these songs are tightly arranged and performed by the trio, but the drumming stays on the hi-hat and ride cymbals incessantly, losing their effectiveness to the point that they become a major distraction to the rest of the song. Three of Sir Rolandís compositions are included: Itís A Small World, Interloper, and Orange Funk. All are interesting pieces demonstrating creativity and technical skill, but they seem stylistically out of place mixed in the middle of Rodgers and Hart, and again the clashing cymbals are a distracting irritation. The bonus tracks are acceptable but are essentially repeats and add nothing new. Four other choices from Sir Rolandís huge songbook may have made the disc more appealing.

A six page booklet is included with the disc, briefly describing the songs and the performers.

Liner notes were written by Jack Frieden in 1983.

Bruce McCollum



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