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The Gordon Beck Quartet: “Seven Steps to Heaven”

(Art of Life AL1018-2)

Discography | Digital Downloads | About the Music | Liner Notes | Selected Quotations

The Gordon Beck Quartet: "Seven Steps to Heaven"

Gordon Beck: piano
Pierrick Pedron: alto saxophone
Bruno Rousselet: acoustic bass
Philippe Soirat: drums

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Backwards Bop
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Gone With the Wind
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Quiet Now
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Seven Steps To Heaven
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Digital Downloads {top}

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About the Music {top}

Recorded live at the Franc Pinot Jazz Club in Paris, France on February 25th & 26th, 2005. This 62 minute live recording captures British Jazz piano legend Gordon Beck at the peak of his musical powers in a quartet setting featuring Bruno Rousselet on acoustic bass, Philippe Soirat on drums and special guest Pierrick Pedron on alto saxophone. The quartet performs many well-known standards by such composers as Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Miles Davis in addition to the song Backwards Bop by pianist Billy Childs. Also included is a solo piano version of Denny Zeitlin's Quiet Now performed and recorded in Gordon's home studio on May 15th, 2005. All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit digital technology.

Liner Notes {top}

Working with house rhythm sections, pick-up bands and special guests is all part of a Jazz musicians lot. It can be a mixed blessing, a kind of musical Russian roulette! All the more rewarding when the invited guest turns out to be a phenomenal musician.

Bernard Rabaud, my man in Paris, had suggested the inclusion of Pierrick Pedron in our trio booking at the Franc Pinot Jazz Club. Our first meeting was the first night of the gig. Within a few numbers it was clear that Bernard, a fine musician himself, had chosen well. It was great to be performing with three of France's finest young players on their home ground. Bruno, Philippe and I have worked together many times (hear us on Not the Last Waltz Art of Life AL1008, our previous Art of Life Records CD). Pierrick also has a solid reputation on the French Jazz scene and after you hear this, I think you will know why.

This CD is dedicated to Bernard Rabaud who's help, support and friendship has made so many Paris visits a true pleasure.

Gordon Beck

Selected Quotations {top}

British pianist Gordon Beck has had a wide-ranging career, playing with everyone from Tubby Hayes to Allan Holdsworth, the Phil Woods European Rhythm Machine to Helen Merrill. On "Seven Steps to Heaven", he teams up with three excellent if obscure French jazz musicians, stretching out on Billy Childs' "Backwards Bop" and six jazz standards. Four of the seven performances exceed nine minutes, yet there are no slow or aimless moments. Beck is the main soloist, with altoist Pierrick Pedron (slightly reminiscent of Jackie McLean) making the trio a quartet on four of the seven selections in exciting fashion. "Seven Steps to Heaven" is a recommended slice of modern mainstream jazz.
Scott Yanow All Music Guide

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