Simon Phillips_Jeff Babko: Vantage Point
On this effort, Phillips shares top billing with ace keyboardist Jeff Babko along with superb support from bassist Dave Carpenter, trumpeter Walt Fowler and saxophonist Brandon Fields for an energetic series of straight ahead, profusely swinging originals and one Freddie Hubbard tune titled, “Spirits Of Trane”. Through it all, Phillips and Carpenter exhibit an authoritative yet sympathetic presence in concert with Babko’s fierce, well-conceived soloing, huge block chords and a shrewd sense of the dynamic while Fields and Fowler perform with storming ferocity. Basically, the musicians give it one hundred and ten percent from top to bottom as the soloists pull out all the stops amid tricky time signatures, instances of fiery unison choruses and perceptive interplay. - On a special note, Phillips mic’d his kit utilizing early 60’s techniques augmented by present day digital technology. Overall, Vantage Point is a blistering exposition and one that should not be overlooked. Highly recommended.
* * * * ½ (out of * * * * *)
( Jazzline )
Track Listing: 1)Vantage Point 2) New Blooded 3) Bewilderment 4) Miles Away 5) Doubletake 6) Dreamscape 7) Spirits Of Trane
Personnel: Walt Fowler; trumpet & flugelhorn: Brandon Fields; tenor & soprano sax: Dave Carpenter; acoustic bass: Jeff Babko; piano: Simon Phillips; drums.
Record Label: Jazzline Records