Steve Grover: Consideration
Maine's independent Invisible Music Records label continues to bring to public attention, the artistry of musicians working and living in the New England area, with special emphasis on the State of Maine. Not only does the label feature artists who would not otherwise be heard, but they regularly open their recording studios to musicians who go beyond playing standards and offer newer music, including their compositions, for consideration. Consideration offers a musical agenda of 10 of drummer/leader Steve Grover originals. Mr. Grover brings significant credentials to this album as a composer. Among other things, his "Blackbird Suite" won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz/BMI Jazz Composers Competition of 1994.
The set gets an auspicious kick off with the ballad "Empathy", a very buoyant piece of music. There is excellent tenor sax by George Garzone featuring several runs showing off his fingering dexterity. What makes his approach different is that the runs make sense with the context of the tune, rather than sounding like he's practicing scales. Carrying the burden of creating the floating feel is Tim Sessions' trombone. Session figures prominently on this album and is a major contributor to its success. "Row", as the name implies, is a row of twelve tones and features an ear catching duet between Garzone's tenor and Grover's drums. Don Won is contemplation put to music, with a fascinating interplay between Grover's restrained drumming, Garzone's inventive sax playing and Sessions' probing, conversational trombone. Garzone manages to bring a modern setting to the tenor without resorting to honks and squeaks like some contemporary sax people. A break in the relatively serious mood comes with the lightly swinging "Singular". "Say It Again" is the other tune where the playing breaks away from the slow tempo mood. Once more, it's "Sessions' trombone which carries the load, supported by Carlberg's comping with Grover's delicately brushed cymbals and John Lockwood's bass providing the rhythmic foundation. Carlberg is allocated significant solo time on this track and his playing reminds one of Tommy Flanagan.
TracksEmpathy; Don Won; Row; Three Street; Consideration; Singular; Loss; Say It Again; Step on It; The Shortest Day of the YearPersonnelTim Sessions - Trombone; George Garzone - Tenor, Soprano Saxophones; Frank Carlberg - Piano; John Lockwood - Bass; Steve Grover - Drums