All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Jeff Campbell Trio: A Declaration of Optimism


Sign in to view read count
Bassist Jeff Campbell's A Declaration of Optimism is a beautiful album with a lot to say, and manages to say it all in a very quiet way.

Beginning with the title track, Campbell's piano-less trio, also featuring tenor saxophonist John Wojciechowski = 15550}}, and drummer John Hollenbeck, establishes an intimate connection between the three instrumental voices. Appropriately, Campbell's voice is dominant, setting the tone on each track. Wojciechowski's ebullient tenor saxophone occupies the foreground, but it's always clear that Campbell is leading the way.

On "South of Las Vegas," Campbell opens with a steady, insistent pulse. Hollenbeck lays the rhythmic foundation on his cymbals, while Wojciechowski plays a mournful melody. The whole effect is beautiful and desolate, much like a stretch of desert highway in the middle of the night.

The album largely consists of Campbell's original compositions, all of which are excellent, with Wojciechowski contributing the rhythmically tricky "Duplicity," a track reminiscent of Miles Davis' 1960s quintet. The other non-original is a version of John Scofield's "Wabash III," which is based on the folk song "Washbash Cannonball." The trio's version contains a magnificent solo from Campbell, as well as some exciting interaction with Hollenbeck.

Each track is a quiet conversation between the three men. No one shouts because there is no need to. Every word and nuance can be easily discerned in the space created by these three extraordinary artists. A Declaration of Optimism is a splendid addition to the canon of piano-less trio albums.

Track Listing: A Declaration of Optimism; Tower of Glass; By Another Way; Gregorian; Duplicity; The Question Is; Wabash III; South of Las Vegas; Hoot Gibson.

Personnel: Jeff Campbell: acoustic bass; John Hollenbeck: drums; John Wojciechowski: tenor saxophone.

Title: A Declaration of Optimism | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Turbulence CD/LP/Track Review
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Black Swan CD/LP/Track Review
Black Swan
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Both Sides Of The Sky CD/LP/Track Review
Both Sides Of The Sky
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Beethoven – Missa Solemnis CD/LP/Track Review
Beethoven – Missa Solemnis
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 CD/LP/Track Review
Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Happiness!" CD/LP/Track Review Happiness!
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "A Sleepin' Bee" CD/LP/Track Review A Sleepin' Bee
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Disconnected" CD/LP/Track Review Disconnected
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by John Sharpe
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Along The Way" CD/LP/Track Review Along The Way
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by John Sharpe
Published: November 4, 2017