How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Saxophonist Paul Kendall leads several different quartets throughout this latest session of warm standards. As the album's title implies, it's all about melodies and rich harmony. However, Kendall makes sure throughout that there's plenty of space for everyone to stretch out. Averaging eight minutes per track, the program features Kendall's romantic tenor saxophone improvising over familiar chord changes. His crystal-clear tone and light-fingered technique set the mood so that the others are able to contribute accordingly.
Notable is pianist Matthew Fries' blues introduction and support for "Willow Weep for Me." His composition "Retro" adds a modern mainstream touch to the session that sets this tune apart from the others with its fresh piano-bass-drums interaction. For John Coltrane's "Impressions" the quartet smokes at a blazing tempo, while on Horace Silver's "Barbara" they waltz comfortably with as much power but in a different mood. Cedar Walton's up-tempo "Firm Roots" creates a place for Kendall to demonstrate his fluid articulation and confident phrasing. Consistent through his latest two recordings and several bands, Paul Kendall offers a fresh sound and familiar songs intended for the general audience.
Track Listing: If I Should Lose You; Willow Weep for Me; My Shining Hour; Firm Roots; Impressions; Barbara; Recordame; Retro; My Romance.Collective
Personnel: Paul Kendall- tenor saxophone; Matthew Fries, Tim Regusis- piano; Dave Jackson- bass; Alvester Garnett, Skip Scott- drums.