Michael P. Gladstone joined All About Jazz in 2003
I came out of my musical hibernation circa 1960 and hit the streets for a new education on the past, present and future.
The session was recorded live at the Oakland jazz club Yoshi's in 2001 before an appreciative audience. The first three selections underline Heckman's affinity for Coltrane's style of that time, beginning with an unusually up-tempo version of the Mal Waldron classic "Soul Eyes." On the following ten-minute take of Trane's "Equinox," Heckman delivers a stunning solo which is right on target, with some nice punchy bebop work from pianist Matt Clark. The two ballads, also from the Coltrane songbook, "You're A Weaver of Dreams" and "Blame It On My Youth," also display the sensitivity and attention to melody that Trane showed on his love songs. "Theosphere" has a most Monk-like melody that is played on soprano sax in a style that's typical of the pianist's Riverside years, and it's quite attractive. The original "Ode to the Sunsinger" is based upon Coltrane's "Mr. Knight" from his Atlantic period.
Live at Yoshi's does not represent a slavish imitation of John Coltrane. Rather, it is an extension of Steve Heckman's inspiration and, as such, should be a welcome experience for listeners. Since this album was recorded four years ago, I wonder what Steve Heckman is up to these days.
Visit Steve Heckman on the web.
Track Listing: Soul Eyes; Equinox; You're A Weaver of Dreams; Ode To The Sunsinger; Theosphere; Blame It On My Youth; Deomde.
Personnel: Steve Heckman: tenor and soprano saxophone; Matt Clark: piano; Karen Horner: bass; Jemal Ramirez: drums.
Record Label: World City Music
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