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Dave Holland / Gonzalo Rubalcaba / Chris Potter / Eric Harland: The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival (2009)

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Dave Holland / Gonzalo Rubalcaba / Chris Potter / Eric Harland: The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival Supergroups thrown together for jazz festivals are, as a general rule, a disappointment. The chemistry of a regular working unit is usually missing, and they tend to resort to "theme-solo-theme" weariness. Not so when the supergroup is made up of dedicated composers and listeners such as The Monterey Quartet, assembled on the occasion of Monterey's 50th anniversary celebration concerts in 2007.

Bassist Dave Holland

Dave Holland
Dave Holland
b.1946
bass
, together with two familiar players—Chris Potter
Chris Potter
Chris Potter
b.1971
reeds
and Eric Harland
Eric Harland
Eric Harland
b.1976
drums
—are joined by the Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Gonzalo Rubalcaba
b.1963
piano
. In a quartet setting, each player carries equal weight both on playing and, in this case, composing. Each contributes two tunes to this live date.

The audience picks up on the high energy level from the start. The musicians are encouraged to push the envelope throughout, gaining momentum as each song is played. This is definitely not a blowing session, each player remains engaged, urging the music into the stratosphere.

Harland, a Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
disciple, has recently held the drum chair in Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
b.1938
saxophone
's bands, working regularly with the Indian tablaist Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain
b.1951
percussion
. His energy is most apparent here. Together with Holland they propel (maybe launch is a better word) the pairing of Potter and Rubalcaba on the bassist's "Step On It." Likewise Rubalcaba's "50," a funky dash-and-dart piece, oozes pure effervescence. The pianist plays with a bluesy swing that goes toe-to-toe with Harlan.

The proof, though, is in the slower pieces, the Rubalcaba's bolero "Otra Mirada" and Harlan's "Maiden," where the music relaxes into appreciable bits. The interplay is more assumed and consumed. Potter's tenor rises to each occasion.

This assembled supergroup could be—no, should be—a working band. Well done.


Track Listing: Treachery; Minotaur; Otra Mirada; Step To It; Maiden; 50; Veil Of Tears; Spoken Introduction; Ask Me Why.

Personnel: Dave Holland: bass; Gonzalo Rubalcaba: piano; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Eric Harland: drums.

Record Label: Monterey Jazz Festival Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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