Amazon.com Widgets

The Jazz Expressions: On the Road (2005)

By Published: | 3,598 views
The Jazz Expressions: On the Road No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The Jazz Expressions, long the backing band for singer Jimmy Scott, check in with their third "solo release of straight-ahead instrumental jazz. Ten original compositions, helpfully labelled by style ("ballad," "swing," etc.), hold few surprises but show off the supple group dynamic developed over years of touring together and provide fodder for polished, literate improvisations from each member of the quartet. An exhaustive list of the band's past tour destinations provides food for thought—the listener can ponder the significance for jazz as an art form from the fact that these men have been invited to play locales as remote as Azerbaijan, or that they've performed in more cities in Japan than in the United States.

Musical director and bassist Hilliard Greene contributes four compositions and makes his presence felt throughout, beginning with a forceful solo on the opening track "The Great One ("swing/up ). His "Okums, in two parts ("ballad and "Latin ), is perhaps the highlight of the album, beginning as a dramatic bass solo, complete with vigorous strumming and building into an up-tempo Latin romp that inspires some of pianist Aaron Graves' most energetic improvisations. The weakness here, as elsewhere, is that the tracks are mostly kept fairly short and Graves' solo seems to end just as he was really getting going. These men are obviously talented improvisers and it would have been nice to hear them stretch out a bit more.

Saxophonist and flutist T.K. Blue avoids this pitfall in his composition "A Single Tear of Remembrance ("ballad ), whose eleven-minute length allows time for his flute solo to develop more fully. He also pens "Shades of Bahia ("Latin ) which provides drummer Dwayne Broadnax a chance to come to the fore. As the band heads off to their next destination to the strains of Broadnax' "Dr. T.L.D. ("modal/funky ), the terrain they've conducted us over hasn't been as ambitious or as exotic as their travel itinery, but we can't say we haven't had surefooted guides.

Track Listing: 1. The Great One - 5:56; 2. A Single Tear of Remembrance - 10:48; 3. Straight Ahead - 5:35; 4. Okums Part I - 2:05; 5. Okums Part II - 4:05; 6. Early Time - 3:38; 7. Harriet Tubman - 5:57; 8. Shades of Bahia - 7:27; 9. Pinnacle of Joy - 5:28; 10. Dr. T.L.D. - 6:42.

Personnel: Hilliard Greene - bass; Dwayne Broadnax - drums; Aaron Graves - piano; T.K. Blue - sax and flute.

Record Label: Wildflower Recordings

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search