Leave your preconceptions at the door when you hit play on this one. Roy Campbell, an incendiary free jazz trumpeter? Sometimes. Wilber Morris, an adventurous, abstract bassist? Sometimes. Guillermo E. Brown, a steaming powerhouse drummer? Sometimes. It's Krunch Time is an exceptionally accessible record, given the broad talent and free jazz experience of the musicians. It challenges the stereotypes that have been imposed on these players, and it showcases the flexibility of the relative newcomer, vibraphonist Kahn Jamal.
Some of the pieces on It's Krunch Time explore time and space with curiosity and liberation. "The Opening," for example, wanders quite a bit as Campbell soars high and Jamal breaks down the barriers of harmony. Morris pulses rather regularly on this one, and Brown offers delicate accents throughout. But then it's a big leap to the hard-swinging funk of Monk's "Bemsha Swing"where Brown and Morris stick like glue in the pocket. On this tune, Jamal comps the changes while Campbell solos in straight-ahead fashion on top. (In the same vein: "Ode for Mr. DC.") The opener, "Tenderness of Spring," starts out with a delicate, lyrical bass solo and very gradually evolves into a sensitive ballad. The closer takes on "The Star Spangled Banner" with a conspicuously Hendrix-like deconstruction. (Unfortunately, Hendrix's version is much better, in my opinion.)
It's Krunch Time presents a tasteful mix of straight-ahead jazz, lyricism and adventurism, though it mostly stays in an accessible range. This disc deserves praise for its postmodern electicism, and it certainly defies any type-cast roles for its musicians. For the most part, it's a winnerthough I'd like to hear these players stretch out a bit more together.
Track Listing: Tenderness of Spring; Krunch Time; Bemsha Swing; New Groes for the New Millenium; Ode to Mr. DC; Khanducting; The Opening; Star Spangled Banner.
Personnel: Roy Campbell: trumpet; Kahn Jamal: vibes; Wilber Morris: bass; Guillermo E. Brown: drums.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.