Clarence Penn: Play Penn
For the new recording, Penn expresses himself even further with the same musicians on his debut, but with a lighter feel. This is jazz that can't be easily classified into a particular category. There are various traces of many influences e.g. Monk, Coltrane, Elvin Jones, and Mingus, but Penn propels his own voice cloud and clear. Penn also added new flavor with the addition of notable European guitarist Jesse Van Ruller whose hollow body expertise sparked new texture to the already talented group. Selections such as Monk's timeless "Teo" are given Penn's personal stamp as well as more mellow selections like the dreamy cut, "The Charm". The musicians are all up to the challenge of change. Swana on trumpet is as smooth and free as ever and contributes one of the session's most aggressive selections, "Red Alert". Rodney Whitaker is one of today's top bassists and shines thought out the recording giving choice solos as well. Ron Blake is a killer saxophonist who displays great depth and soul throughout the recording. Jesse Van Ruller, a Thelonious Monk Competition guitar winner; swings, grooves, and flows throughout the session with skill and talent which shows why he won the prestigious award. Clarence Penn shows exceptional skills that are still evolving. The evidence of Penn's talent is displayed throughout the recording with great aplomb. Intricate solos, exquisite rhythms, percussive exploits, and tender brush strokes showcase the multifaceted Penn. The listener is treated to a musician who adapts to change in a creative way. It will be interesting to see what changes are in store from the ever- changing skills of Clarence Penn. Recommended.
Track Listing: 1.Teo; 2.Grace-Ann Blake; 3.You Must Believe In Spring; 4.Blues For Paris; 5.The Charm; 6.Consistent-Seay; 7.Red Alert; 8.Essence; 9.Preston's Theme
Personnel: Ron Blake: Sax (Tenor); Clarence Penn: Drums; John Swana: Flugelhorn; Trumpet Jesse Van Ruller: Guitar; Rodney Whitaker: Bass
Record Label: Criss Cross