Harding/ Duval/ Rosen: Invocation For Pepper (2002)
There’s some heavy, heavy soul infused through these sounds with Harding’s Motown roots rising righteously from the virile musical soil. Duval and Rosen share it too and they give as good as their erstwhile front man. Cedar Walton’s “Bolivia” canters along on a clip-clop Latin beat and grooving bass ostinato as Harding weaves and bobs both playfully and ardently in his deeply expressive articulations. Duval dances thick fingers across strings in a solo that seems to suggest his desire to stretch beyond the comparatively simple harmonic structures of the tune. Rosen sounds similarly constricted in his time-keeping roll and tries to spice things up with a splash of aggressive press rolls. Showing off the egalitarian plumage of the trio’s union beautifully “Dolphin Dance” commences with a meaty strings workout from Duval who is eventually joined by the pitter-patter of Rosen’s feathery brushes. Harding’s gorgeously rotund tone muscles in on the action and it’s once again an ensemble affair. “Julian,” composed by Adams in homage to his son, delivers the balladic goods and a chance to hear Harding’s softer side. Compared to the perennially populous tenor ranks, today’s baritone saxophonists seem a relatively rare breed. Bluiett has perhaps the highest profile amongst the small cadre of players who favor the full-throated horn, but a few years hence Harding may see a passing of the torch.
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Track Listing: Invocation/ Bolivia/ Dolphin Dance/ Goodbye Porkpie Hat/ Julian/ Eternal Triangle/ Lament/ You Don
Personnel: Alex Harding- baritone saxophone; Dominic Duval- bass; Jay Rosen- drums. Recorded: June 6 & 7, 2002, Rossie, NY.
Record Label: CIMP Records
Style: Modern Jazz