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CD/LP/Track Review

Brad Turner Quartet, featuring Seamus Blake: Live at the Cellar

By Published: July 1, 2001
This hour-long cd has been spinning for 5 hours now, and is no closer to retirement than when it started the job. Thank Brad Turner - trumpet, Seamus Blake - Sax, Bruno Hubert - Rhodes piano, Andre Lachance - Bass, Dylan Van Der Schyff - drums for that. 'If It Was Me' journeys on for 10 minutes, in one of the fastest paces on the disc, with some good feelin', if simple, brass combos, while Bruno dances about like an Isaac Hayes inmate.

Seamus Blake really brings a lot in with this one. His long, freaky solo in 'Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are' smokes with a verve reminiscent of the Mancini band days.

As there are only 7 tracks and approx. 69 minutes, it's easy to guess that every new stop is probed and explored with caustic, instrumental remarks. Intimacy is an overused term today, but the club setting (here at the infamous Cellar) would probably promote such a stereotype, regardless of the amount of muscle on stage.

There's no getting away from 'Exponential' and the smooth strength that plummets through Turner and Blake's small duet among Schyff's continuous tap-tap rhythms, organized between a race and a fox trot. Turner has a moment to himself to go for Miles, while Hubert seems strangely detached, going his own way, though entirely 'with it.' Of the 5, Hubert is the underused brain of the group.

All in all, it's a great, semi-epic piece of non-vocalist jazz from Canada. While it breaks no new ground, the Earth upon which it stands is rich in nutrients and tends to shake like the west coast.

Web site: www.maximumjazz.com

Personnel: Brad Turner - trumpet, Seamus Blake - Sax, Bruno Hubert - Rhodes piano, Andre Lachance - Bass, Dylan Van Der Schyff - drums

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream



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