With all of the soul and spirit a project like this would demand, this straight-ahead setting of Cannonball Adderly tunes comes together beautifully; sounding as fresh as original music rather than mere repertory. The band is first-rate throughout, with pianist David Hazeltine, Bassist Nat Reeves, and veteran drummer Billy Drummond bolstering the front line of Snider and Pelt. Adderly’s contributions to the jazz canon were as much about heart and soul as they were technique, and this project hits it well.
Early i n his career, in the early 1950s, Blue Note records had dubbed Monk “the genius of modern music.” The title was more prophetic than hyperbolic. History has proven Monk’s genius to be on par with Igor Stravinsky. In taking on the entire catalogue of Mon’s 70+ compositions, the pianist Frank Kimbrough plays it pretty safe. With the versatile saxophonist Scott Robinson and the veteran rhythm team of Rufus Reid and Billy Drummond, Kimbrough renders each tune safely and lovingly, with no attempt at additional bombast or sweetness, giving us all the chance to just take in Monk’s music as the expression of genius that it is.
This remarkable 3-disc set and accompanying booklet, fills in a period in Dolphy’s important career, falling between his earlier recordings for Prestige, and his later, and very short period with Blue Note. Dolphy died in Paris the next year, 1964, at just 36 years old, but his impact on the development of jazz is huge. Often dismissed as an avant-garde iconoclast, history, and these recordings, are proving that Dolphy just had too much to give, and that his explorations were grounded in jazz history, and the music’s mandate for progression. Cheers to Resonance Records for unearthing these hidden gems.
This is jazz music-making of the highest order, by a time-tested group of masters that just gets better each year. Going on three decades under Marsalis’s leadership this quartet has always been a model of daring artistry, ever-widening musical horizons, and strong collective identity. Pianist Joey Calderazzo and bassist Eric Revis each have 20 years in the group, while drummer Justin Faulkner has been along for 10 years, but that longevity does not breed complacency. Instead, the individuals challenge and stimulate each other to remarkable new heights with each new release and each concert tour. See them live!