Here's a chance to hear David Murray in a relaxed setting, caressing his big, lush, tenor sax sound. That's just what Bobby's shimmering drums bring out here, ably abetted by Larry Willis' mellow, soulful piano and Santi DeBriano's unshakeable bass line. Cadence says "...gentle piano chords, soft bass lines, and quiet brush work... never once bored me, never once made me switch to another track... highly recommmended!" CD Review awarded it 4-Stars and Jazz Disc of the Year, running up.
1. Ballad For Frederick (Larry Willis) -Listen to Sample
2. To Wisdom, The Prize (Larry Willis) -Listen to Sample
3. Jitterbug Waltz (Fats Waller) -Listen to Sample
4. The Offering (Santi Debriano)
5. I Mean You (Thelonious Monk)
6. Jazz Laughter (Santi Debriano)
Eddie Gale studied trumpet with bebop master Kenny Dorham and in the early 1960s played with Sun Ra during the bandleader's famous residency at Slug's on Manhattan's Lower East Side. He has been scantly recorded, though he did appear on Cecil Taylor's groundbreaking Unit Structures in 1966. Here he uses mainstream pianist Larry Willis and avant-garde drummer Paul Murphy on a suite depicting jazz music from its African origins through swing and bop to modal jazz and beyond. His trumpet is juicy and brave (not a Miles lick in earshot) and his musicians magically responsive: a communiqué from a hidden treasure of creative jazz, a real find. -Ben Watson
A tribute album without any compositions by or associated with the subject of the tribute, consisting of mostly original tunes. Trumpeter Eddie Gale explains, "I wanted to make something he would have enjoyed listening to." An inspired concept and an inspired album. From the warm easy flow of the opening track to the vivacious stomp of "When the Saints ..." this album grooves. The first recording I've heard that displays this remarkable trumpeter at the height of his powers. Recording quality is excellent and the quintet performs wonderfully. Pianist, Larry Willis' pianistic gymnastics are uncompromisingly precise and Ben Allison, a young bassist from New York, is a real find. The stylistic range on this album is considerable and yet the whole is extremely coherent, mostly due to the cohesiveness of the band. The music has a certain weight to it, a combination of respect, thoughtfulness, and intention that can be breath-taking.
My only complaint is the fade out that concludes Life Force, an energetically dense exploration that will please those familiar with Gale's work in the avant-garde. It sounds to me like the band kept playing and I wish this had either been released in its entirety or that a shorter take had been substituted. That I have to complain about something not on the record is a good indication of just how much I like this release. Highly recommended. Excellent! -Geremy Graham