Among the jazz centenaries in 2023 is that of pianist New York pianist Elmo Hope (1923-1967). The Herwig Gradischnig-Claus Raible Quintet has made a speciality of performing Hope’s music, and includes two Brits, trumpeter Steve Fishwick and drummer Matt Home. There are five tour dates coming up in mid-March. Preview by Sebastian
- Elmo Hope is well described in an interview by Scott Yanow on the Blue Note site. Here is an extract: “Overshadowed throughout his life by his friends Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope was a talented pianist and composer whose life was cut short by drugs. …He recorded in New York as a leader (starting in 1953) and with Sonny Rollins, Lou Donaldson, Clifford Brown, and Jackie McLean,…Elmo Hope’s sessions as a leader were cut for Blue Note, Prestige, Pacific Jazz, Hi Fi Jazz, Riverside, Celebrity, Beacon, and Audio Fidelity; his last albums were initially released on Inner City. Hope was also a fine composer, although none of his songs became standards.” (FULL TEXT HERE)
- Munich-based pianist Claus Raible has been a major advocate of Hope’s work, and his quintet has made two recordings: Searchin’ for Hope, was released on Alessa Records in 2015, and The Music of Elmo Hope. Vol. 2 came out on Trio Records in 2018 (Artist page with sound samples).
- Raible has explained the origins of this quintet in an interview (*) : “I discovered Elmo’s music very early. The very first time was on Clifford Brown’s record with Lou Donaldson, New Faces New Sounds. There’s “Bellarosa”, “Carvin’ the Rock”. And then I heard the Elmo Hope Quintet record with Frank Foster and Freeman Lee. I was immediately taken by that music! I met Bertha Hope – Elmo’s widow and a pianist in her own right – once in New York; that was years ago. I went to see her in concert, and then I talked to her. She said she was a little upset that nobody was playing Elmo’s music; that’s where the idea came from. There are so many great Elmo compositions that nobody plays! So I wrote quintet arrangements of the themes recorded as a trio.“
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13 March Oxford Tavern, Kentish Town, London UK
14 March Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking, UK
16 March Leeds Jazz Club, Leeds, UK
17 March Jazz Society, Durham, UK
18 March Peggy‘s Skylight, Nottingham,. UK