I’m struck by the similarity of these two pieces of music, both ideal for those of us who prefer to linger in the last outreaches of the holiday period, instead of fully embracing the new year with all of its unfulfilled potential (or for those with especially hard-to-get-rid of hangovers).
First up Joe Henderson performs an achingly lyrical Lazy Afternoon on drummer Pete la Roca’s album Basra, accompanied by Steve Swallow and Steve Kuhn and recorded in May, 1965.
Bobby Wellins takes on a similar role during the iconic ‘Spill favourite Starless and Bible Black, recorded two months earlier by Stan Tracey’s quartet.
Each of the tenor saxophonists has an exquisite, gossamer tone, while the pianists add washes of colour in water-drop quantities. The bassists drop languid tones in the manner of Paul Chambers’ playing on Flamenco Sketches, and the drummers link the bars with barely visible spiders webs on brushes and cymbals (though Tracey’s drummer Jackie Dougan does darken the mood at the end).
Take a load off and relax. The year hasn’t really started yet.