The Jazz Expressions: On the Road (2005)
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