Don Braden: Gentle Storm (2009)
He recasts the standard "Secret Love" as a turbulent post-bop vehicle, with Colligan showing shades of McCoy Tyner. Braden's laconic, blues-drenched setting of another standard, "Willow Weep For Me," features some of his most heartfelt playing of the date. Braden offers a punchy take of Lee Morgan's hard bop masterpiece, "Speedball." Not many artists could take a hit from the pop group The Jackson Five and turn it into meaningful jazz, but Braden's bluesy treatment of "Never Can Say Goodbye," in a mid-tempo groove, works perfectly. Leon Russell's "This Masquerade" has been tackled by jazz players with mixed success; the tenorist's punchy, soulful arrangement makes it one of the better interpretations. Braden switches to alto flute for a warm rendition of "My Foolish Heart," accompanied solely by Teepe. The leader's originals are just as valuable. "Gentle Storm" is a low key, lyrical bossa nova, while "The Hunter" is an intricate duet with Teepe.
Track Listing: Secret Love; Gentle Storm; Never Can Say Goodbye; What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?; This Masquerade; The Hunter; Willow Weep For Me; Two of a Kind; My Foolish Heart; Speed Ball.
Personnel: Don Braden: tenor sax, alto flute; George Colligan: piano; Joris Teepe: bass, Cecil Brooks III: drums.
Record Label: HighNote Records