All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Lin Halliday: Airegin

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
One of the many admirable things about the Delmark label is its willingness to champion artists regardless of their resulting record sales. Important, if unsung, musicians like Barrett Deems, Jodie Christian, Malachi Thompson and Ari Brown have made essential entries to their portfolios on this Chicago staple and all have made repeat appearances even if their efforts haven’t translated into financial boons. Lin Halliday is perhaps the archetypal example of the Delmark crew’s unflagging belief and support in the musicians that populate their roster. Personal problems plagued the man on and off the bandstand and in and out of the studio, so much so that his artistic misses were often as frequent as his near hits. When other labels had thrown in the towel thanks to his irascible idiosyncrasies Delmark played the role of patient parent and continued to give him a voice.

This disc, released posthumously after Halliday’s untimely passing in early 2000, is both homage and something of untold chapter. Previously distributed by drummer Kronquist at concerts in tape-only form, the session makes its debut in disc form and is finally available to a far larger audience. The leader’s widely publicized Sonny Rollins fixation is on display, but fortunately the ornery disposition he often developed in the studio is absent and the band commences to swinging from the opening theme of “Airegin.” The rhythm section, fronted by the estimable Christian is an ideal match-up for Halliday’s tobacco-tinged, slightly pinched tenor. Especially informative are the saxophonist’s readings of Rollins favorites like “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise,” where slight movements off mic create interesting (if perhaps unintentional) dynamic shifts during his solos. Kronquist’s cymbals and carefully measured snare and tom accents keep the infectious rhythm of the tune moving, and what would a version of this tune be without a bass solo? Picking up the heavy gauntlet Carroll chimes in with a timely plucked treatise that honors the fine lineage of players (Wilbur Ware, Paul Chambers, etc.) who have improvised before him on the familiar melody.

Halliday may have suffered from persistent inner demons much of his career, but on this finely crafted date they appear to have been exorcised, at least for a short spell. The result was arguably the most consistent and focused recording of his career. Listeners with a love for tenor-driven mainstream jazz will almost certainly find much to enjoy in his assiduous musings captured here.

Track Listing: Airegin/ Sophisticated Lady/ With A Song In My Heart/ Softly As In A Morning Sunrise/ My Foolish Heart/ Hello Young Lovers/ Love Letters/ Cherokee.

Personnel: Lin Halliday- tenor saxophone; Jodie Christian- piano; Dennis Carroll- bass; Tom Kronquist. Recorded: September 30, 1988, Chicago, IL.

Title: Airegin | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Delmark Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Delmark Records


Where Or When

Pink Flamingo Music Ltd.


Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Borrowed Time" CD/LP/Track Review Borrowed Time
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "8th Window" CD/LP/Track Review 8th Window
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "async Remodels" CD/LP/Track Review async Remodels
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Transient" CD/LP/Track Review Transient
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 3, 2017