Many of us might ordinarily surmise that a recording by famed modern jazz drummer Rashied Ali would reside within the free jazz spectrum of things. However, Ali and his quintet opts for the mainstream, post-Bop realm on this 2001 release, which presents the listener with a session recorded at a New York City studio in 1992. Interestingly enough, Ali utilizes the talents of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, and a then young bassist Matthew Garrison, who has since enjoyed prominence performing with John McLaughlin and Herbie Hancock.
The drummer is recognized for his work with John Coltrane's free spirited excursions amid affiliations with Albert Ayler and Pharaoh Sanders. With this release Ali peppers and prods the soloists during their hip renditions of Jaco Pastorious' lovely "Three Views of A Secret," and Wayne Shorter's "Witch Hunt."
This recording was co-produced by guitarist Gene Ess (formerly Gene Shimosato). In some respects, this outing could conceivably appear to be the guitarist's solo album. As Ess' effervescent and lyrically rich soloing endeavors provide the majority of the highlights. Regardless, this is a first-rate effort and well worth investigating!
Personnel: Rashied Ali: drums; Gene Ess: guitar; Ravi Coltrane: tenor & soprano sax; Matt Garrison: bass; Greg Murphy: piano.