T.K. Blue: Latin Bird (2011)
On Latin Bird, Blue builds a variety of rhythmic structures to house Parker's pieces. He dabbles in calypso rhythms ("Barbados"), deals in Afro-Cuban grooves ("Si Si" and "Buzzy"), and struts along over a snare drum-driven second-line feel ("Visa"), but his personal sound helps to tie it all together.
In other places, Blue comfortably bridges the gap between two dissimilar rhythmic directions. "Donna Lee" is presented as a bubbly Brazilian concoction, but Blue's unaccompanied saxophone statements allow for the band to remove itself from the equation, recharge and, subsequently, rebrand the work as a waltz. After the soloists have had their say, those who prefer the Brazilian beat are given one more opportunity to revel in the rumble when drummer Willie Martinez uses his drum solo to bring the piece back to its original feel. A less drastic example of shifting rhythmic terrain comes with "Blue Bird," which continually moves between a dreamy, wind chime-coated section of music and a bluesy atmosphere.
When Blue branches out with his own material, he still manages to stick to the theme at hand. "He Flew Away Too Soon" is a solo work written to honor the late Benny PowellBlue's trombone-playing band mate from pianist Randy Weston's outfitbut it can also play out as a tribute to Parker. Likewise, "Moods Of Parker" uses Bird's own "Parker's Mood" as a jumping off point, and serves as a touching tribute to one of the true geniuses of jazz.
Track Listing: Chi Chi; Si Si; Visa; Blue Bird; Round Midnight; Barbados; Steeplechase; Moods Of Parker; Donna Lee; He Flew Away Too Soon; Buzzy.
Personnel: T.K. Blue: alto saxophone, flute; Willie Martinez: drums (1-4, 6, 7, 9, 11); Roland Guerrero: congas, percussion (1-4, 6, 7, 9, 11); Essiet Okon Essiet: bass (1-9, 11); Theo Hill: piano (1-9, 11); Steve Turre: conch shells, trombone (1, 2, 4); Lewis Nash: drums (5, 8).
Record Label: Motema Music