Various Artists: Originations
As for the chosen tracks, there’s "Wigwam" from Origin’s Change ; "I B 4 U" and "Madrid" from bassist Avishai Cohen’s Colors and Adama, respectively; "Turnin’ the Corner" and "Roots & Herbs" from altoist Steve Wilson’s Passages ; "Shadows" and "I’m Old Fashioned" from trombonist Steve Davis’s Portrait In Sound ; and "Made By Walking" and "Flicks" from tenorist Tim Garland’s Made By Walking. Davis’s "I’m Old Fashioned" is the only standard in the collection, which is fitting given that Davis travels in more "trad" circles than the others. Still, this medium bright, reharmonized arrangement is quite out of the ordinary, and Steve Nelson’s vibes solo is burning. "Roots & Herbs" and "Flicks" are short, evocative snippets, full of unusual sonic and orchestrational choices. Avishai Cohen’s pieces are the most boldly eclectic of the batch, with Fender Rhodes textures driving the dance-groove atmosphere of "I B 4 U" and Amos Hoffman’s oud lending exotic flavor to "Madrid." Wilson’s energetic, up-tempo "Turnin’ the Corner" is a highlight from one of the top albums of the year, and Garland’s soft-toned, highly advanced tenor work on "Made by Walking" is indicative of the many gems from the album of the same name. Corea, it should be noted, is not at all the main piano presence on this compilation: Brad Mehldau, Bruce Barth, Geoff Keezer, David Hazeltine, and Jason Lindner all make strong appearances.
Having made jazz history several times over, Corea has now established himself, in his middle age, as one of the savviest discoverers of new jazz talent. And this while at the helm of one of the best ensembles of his career. The up-and-coming young artists of Origin have surely benefited from their association with Corea, but so has Corea’s reputation gained luster through his association with them.
Record Label: Concord Music Group