Dudley Owens / Aaron Wright Band: People Calling (2012)
Saxophonist Dudley Owens and bassist Aaron Wright bring together (in classic quintet format) a band intent on expanding the language of Miles Davis's second great quintet from within. On People Calling the band does exactly this: they create a late '60s sonic image stamped in 21st Century digital. The writing is firmly post bop, with Atlantic period Ornette Coleman fighting its way out. These influences are governed by a firm compositional vision intent on cleaning up the excesses of post bop (ragged beginnings and endings) and replacing them with crisp transitions.
On Owen's "Book of Revelations," Wright and drummer Clif Wallace slowly introduce a John Coltrane-like motif approximating "A Love Supreme" that soon takes on an "Eye of the Hurricane" complexity. Pianist Willerm Delisfort solos over this with an angular, block-chord grace. The harmonic scaffolding of the piece strongly recalls the early European recordings of Miles' second quintet, as presented on Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Volume 1 (Columbia, 2011). The difference being that everything here is less experimental, more orderly and content. Recordings like this demonstrate that while jazz has moved on in so many other directions, the old ways still warrant consideration and investigation.
Personnel: Dudley Owens: tenor and soprano saxophones; Justin Stanton: trumpet (7- 10); Willerm Delisfort: piano; Aaron Immanuel Wright: bass; Clif Wallace: drums.