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...

11

Richard Sears: Altadena

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
It is inspiration which fuels Brooklyn-based pianist Richard Sears's Altadena, a five part suite commissioned in 2013 by the Los Angeles Jazz Society featuring the legendary drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. The professional linking between Heath, who first recorded with John Coltrane in 1957 and Sears, a rising young talent, began after the two met and exchanged ideas in 2012. Like many collaborations in jazz between younger and older artists, this connection is one of mutual respect and admiration.

The suite is vividly expressed through a top-flight sextet—Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Steven Lugerner and Patrick Wolff (reeds) and Garret Lang (bass)—in splendid performances that are clearly inspired by Heath's rich legacy but also Sears's dynamic vision. The melodic theme weaves itself through each section yet takes ingenious diversions along the way via affecting solos, intense and tender moments and eclectic progression which echoes the breadth and imagination of jazz pianist innovator Andrew Hill.

Heath's rhythmic verve is the driving force, offering effervescent swing in "Part One" as the instruments pirouette or unrelenting traps in "Part Two" with flavorful statements from Patrick Wolff's tenor and Sears's ethereal piano flight. This energy flows between the musicians in swelling harmonies in "Part Three" and distinct spots like Steven Lugerner's deep bass clarinet and Knuffke's flurried cornet in the gorgeous "Part Four."

Garret Lang's robust bass is the life pulse of "Part Five" bringing the suite to a satisfying conclusion. Bursting with Sears's fertile ideas, excellent playing from everyone and some inspiration from a jazz statesman, Altadena is one 2016's best releases.

Track Listing: Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five.

Personnel: Kirk Knuffke: cornet; Steven Lugerner: alto saxophone and bass clarinet; Patrick Wolff: tenor saxophone; Garret Lang: bass; Richard Sears: piano/composition; Albert “Tootie” Heath: drums.

Title: Altadena | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Ropeadope

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr18Thu
Richard Sears Trio
The Sound Room
Oakland, CA
$20

Related Articles

Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019
Read The Transitory Poems Album Reviews
The Transitory Poems
By Mark Corroto
March 25, 2019
Read Birckhead Album Reviews
Birckhead
By Mike Jurkovic
March 25, 2019
Read Live At Moods Album Reviews
Live At Moods
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 25, 2019
Read Live at Frankie's Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at Frankie's Jazz Club
By Jack Bowers
March 24, 2019
Read Asperger Album Reviews
Asperger
By Don Phipps
March 24, 2019