In the wee small hours

In the wee small hours

Music is one of my great passions. Not just classical. At the beginning of this month we went to visit some friends in Grenoble and we spent hours on end, until very very very late and even in the wee small hours of the morning.

Listening to those brilliant Winterreise Lieder by Schubert, the great romantic Austrian composer.

Bill Carrothers, maybe a new kind of romantic from the modern Jazz scene, was a discovery to me. Carrothers is a lover a Paris and is completely ignored by the American version of Wikipedia, although he originates from Minneapolis, Minnesota. His records are hard to find, but I recommend the first track on the “after hours” album.

I recommend you go to Amazon France and listen to the first track, “in the wee small hours”.

Incidentally, In the wee small hours of the morning is a song by Frank Sinatra

In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
In the wee small hours of the morning,
While the whole wide world is fast asleep,
You lie awake and think about the girl
And never, ever think of counting sheep.


About Bill Carrothers (taken from the French version of Wikipedia)

Born on July 13, 1964 in Minneapolis (Minnesota), Bill Carrothers studied piano at the conservatory for a long time before forming a quintet that was honoured by local audiences.

He became the regular accompanist of jazz greats from Dewey Redman to James Moody and Charlie Rouse, and was invited by Prince to lend his touch to his protégés’ album The Family, released in 1988.

Now living in New York, Bill Carrothers pursues a career divided between concerts in his own name, or that of other jazzmen, and numerous studio sessions with Joe Lovano or Buddy DeFranco. In 1999 his first album Language of Crows was released, quickly followed by After Hours, for the Bridge Boy Music label, and Duets with Bill Stewart, a collaboration with the drummer reissued by Dreyfus Records in 2002. Fond of swing, be bop and cool jazz, the pianist surrounded himself with the rhythm section formed by the Belgians Nicolas Thys and Dré Pallemaerts for the album Sing Swing Songs in 2001.

The American, in love with France where he regularly performs, then moves on to his great work, a concept album called Armistice 1918 (published in 2004), linking the birth of jazz to the chaos left by the First World War. A follow-up was Civil War Diaries (2005), inspired by wartime correspondence.

Later, Bill Carrothers dedicated an album to the French capital, I Love Paris (2006). In the meantime, the unreleased Home Row, recorded in 1992 with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart, was released in 2008. In 2011, the new nostalgic opus Excelsior is undoubtedly a late recognition for the musician, often compared to Brad Mehldau.

In 2013, a new solo album, Love and longing, was released, based on an idea by Gérard de Haro, director of the La Buissonne label, who noticed that Bill Carotthers had a previously untapped talent: singing.


Yann Gourvennec
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