4–Sight, a quartet of (relatively) young lions who’ve made some modest waves in other groups, nimbly straddles a number of fences — mainstream and contemporary, funk and traditional, acoustic and electric — on its debut recording for N2K. While some may argue that the group has tailored its program to appeal to the commercial radio market, I don’t think that is the case; the music is far too cerebral to serve as such aural wallpaper. In other words, I think that 4–Sight believes in what it is doing. Whether one agrees with that point of view is another matter. Although I couldn’t pick 4–Sight out of a lineup if my life depended on it, I found much of its music worthwhile if not exceedingly inventive. Certainly these are four capable if at times overly enthusiastic musicians (the rhythm section sometimes tends to become too busy, as on the opening track, “Parabola,” and elsewhere). All selections were composed by members of the group with pianist Martin writing (and in two instances co–writing) five, bassist Whitaker contributing four and tenor/soprano Blake two. Again, they are efficient but unremarkable. At least two (Martin’s “In the Flow,” Martin/Hutchinson’s “En Jai Jai”) employ the sort of elemental rock–style rhythms I’ve never been able to warm to. There are five ballads (including three in a row), the most engaging of which is Blake’s “Beyond Yesterday’s Tomorrows.” My favorite tracks are the ones that scamper — Blake’s ”Re: Evaluation” (on which he plays tenor) and Whitaker’s “Love Endures” (with Blake’s soprano sounding at times like Branford Marsalis before the tune simply fades away). An ambitious venture, one that succeeds more often than it fails.
Track listing: Parabola; First Love, Only Love; Sweet; In the Flow; Re: Evalutation; Visions of the Past; Beyond Yesterday’s Tomorrows; Mastery Through Love; Love Endures; Marti; En Jai Jai (63:00).
Ron Blake, tenor, soprano saxophones; Peter Martin, piano, rhodes and clarinet; Rodney Whitaker, bass; Greg Hutchinson, drums.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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