Joanne Brackeen: Snooze

The pianist's 1975 leader debut showed her moving from a post-bop background with Blakey, Joe Henderson et al into more individual territory


This is a reissue of Joanne Brackeen’s first album as a leader, recorded in 1975, the year in which she left Joe Henderson’s group for that of Stan Getz. It was originally released on the Choice label, and two decades later it was reincarnated as a CD on Candid.

At this stage in her development the pianist had already built a reputation as one whose career was in the ascendant. Her stylistic tendencies were very much her own, although many have noted her use of quartal harmony in the Tyner manner. She offered the listener a challenge in terms of harmony, rhythmic development and unpredictable nuances.

Snooze also featured the talents of Cecil McBee and Billy Hart, a twosome few pianists would have turned down for a debut own-name release. They were clearly at ease with a programme in which Brackeen originals rubbed shoulders with Wayne Shorter’s Nefertiti, Miles Davis’s Circles and that warhorse Old Devil Moon.

This is musical performance with substance, the pianist’s stance being one of controlled intensity within a dense canvas of multi-coloured layers that the leader is able to spin out with ease. Despite Snooze being recorded close to 50 years ago, it should still find favour amongst committed modernists.

Nefertiti; Circles; C-SRI; Zulu; Sixate; Old Devil Moon; Snooze (44.09)
Brackeen (p); Cecil McBee (b); Billy Hart (d). March 1975.
Candid CCD 32072