Dat Dere

I’ve become a bit obsessed with this track, Dat Dere, by jazz pianist Hank Jones, featuring George Duvivier on bass and Oliver Jackson on drums. I didn’t know this tune before, which uses a classic chromatic-descending bass formula, but in their hands it has a wonderful understated swagger.

Jones bursts in with a low punch and a crisp solo as introduction, before articulating the main tune with an irresistible rhythmic intelligence. The stylish nonchalance of the whole thing seems summed up in its Dorian-plagal cadences (F – C minor), which are something of a hook, tossed away like the sonic equivalent of a shrug. I love it.

Investigating further, it turns out that Dat Dere was composed by Bobby Timmons, and his original version is more brash and muscular. Words were later added by Oscar Brown Jr., styling it as the incessant questions of an inquisitive child, and it was also sung by Sheila Jordan.