Standards are an excellent vehicle to view just this; a musician's connection to instrument and music ( sound, rythm, melody, harmony, form, and language). As the format is more or less familiar to all of us who listen to this musical language, our attention is primarily focused on the playing.
Just a few thoughts on this matter. How intimate is the connection between musician, instrument and music? Does it feel as if musician, instrument and music are one? If so, to what extent can the musician make this apparent to us regardless of how aurally informed or uninformed we are? Does the connection wax and wane or is it always consistent? Somehow we can feel the person through all this...how he/she navigates the issues that arise out of the practice of music and instrument.
I've known Jon Gordon for about twelve years or so now. He is someone who is always mindful, discriminating, relentlessly self critical, and attentive to detail. Through this sort of discipline one can orient oneself toward a given aesthetic...setting up the conditions for it to manifest and preparing the way for mystery and intuition to enter. When playing next to him you can feel and hear his focus, energy, and prescence...the years of an intimate connection between himself, his instrument and music.
The sound quality of the recording is very true to life as is the interaction between the musicians. An excellent opportunity to hear Ben Monder, Billy Drummond, Joe Martin, and Bill Campbell in fantastic form. As for Jon, I sincerely hope that you enjoy experiencing his musicianship here as I have over the years.
Mark Turner March 2006
Ben Monder, Billy Drummond, Joe Martin, and Bill Campbell