243

Lenny White: Anomaly

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Lenny White: Anomaly At twenty-five, Lenny White had established a reputation as one of the best drummers in jazz-rock and fusion, having featured as a nineteen year-old on trumpeter Miles Davis' epochal Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969) and forming one-half of the formidable rhythm team, alongside bassist Stanley Clarke in Chick Corea's seminal fusion group, Return to Forever. In the thirty-plus years between RTF's break up and 2008 reformation, White has also recorded with a long list of topnotch jazz musicians including saxophonists Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and Jackie McLean, pianist Andrew Hill, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and bassist Ron Carter. Solo albums have been intermittent, so it's something of an event when White releases his first outing as leader since Edge (Hip-Bop, 1999). Essentially, this is a hard grooving rock album, while possessing elements of the exploration and improvisation that characterized the jazz-rock and fusion of his early career, and more besides.

White has never stood still or rested on his laurels, and in spite of Anomaly's roster of heavyweight fusion musicians, the music is nicely varied, with rock, funk, fusion—and the R&B that increasingly colored his releases in the '90s—all featured here.

There is definitely a harder rocking edge to much of the music, compared to the rest of his discography. "We Know" explodes with a great, heavy riff, featuring searing metal solos from guitarists Nick Moroch and David Bendeth on either side of an instantly recognizable bass solo from Stanley Clarke. Even an R&B track like the catchy "Forever" is branded in sizzling fashion by guitarist Jimmy Herring.

The lovely "Dark Moon" ventures into jazzier territory, with some extremely tasteful guitar by composer David Gilmore, and a piano solo from Bernard Wright which maintains the composition's melodic line, bolstered by White and bassist Victor Bailey's unerringly solid groove, making this is an album highlight. Joe Henderson's "Gazelle" is given a more overtly fusion makeover with Bailey and White propelling the piece as keyboardist George Colligan and guitarist Tom Gurna turn in appealing solos. Colligan and Bailey lock down a groove, over which White unleashes a torrent on his kit.

White sounds in absolutely top form on Anomaly; his groove on Guarna's impressive "If You Dare" is utterly irresistible, with a tripping rhythm and constant hi-hat swinging the tune mightily, with the aid of the redoubtable Bailey. White and Bailey combine wonderfully once again on the rocking "Election Day," one of eight originals by White, and featuring an unforgettable melody and more standout guitar work from Moroch.

"Catlett out of the Bag" is a sweat-raising jazz-funk workout, with vibrant harmonies from saxophonist Danny Walsh and trumpeter Tim Ouimette, while "Anthem" is a memorable rock number with progressive overtones and the epic "The Wait has lifted the Weight" closes the CD in slower, bluesy mode.

Anomaly is a fine addition to White's discography, with the drummer at the height of his considerable playing powers.


Track Listing: Drum Boogie; We Know; Forever; Dark Moon; Gazelle; If U Dare; Election Day; Coming Down; Catlett Out of The Bag; Water Changes Everything; Anthem; The Wait Has Lifted the Weight.

Personnel: Lenny White: drums, keyboards (2, 3), all instruments (10), spoken word, (12); Nick Moroch: guitar (1, 2, 7); Tom Guarna: guitar (1, 3, 5-9, 11); Donald Blackman: organ, (1), piano (12); George Colligan: organ, (1), keyboards (3, 5-8, 11); Vince Evans: keyboards (1, 3-4, 7-9, 12); Bernard Wright: synth bass (1, 9), piano (4, 12) keyboards (7-10, 12); Victor Bailey: bass (1, 3-8); David Bendeth: guitar (2); Stanley Clarke: bass (2); Jimmy Herring: guitar (3); David Gilmore: guitar (4); Mike Clarke: drums (9); Danny Walsh: alto and tenor saxophones (9); Tim Ouimette: trumpet and trombone (9); Jerry Z: organ (9); Chris Williams: lead vocals (10); Vaneese Thomas: lead vocals (10); Gregory Clark: lead vocals (10); Nicki Richards: lead vocals (10); Irene James: backing vocals (10); Michelle Weeks-Reynoso: backing vocals (10); Richie Goods: bass (11); Charles Fambrough: acoustic bass (12).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Abstract Logix | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Live At Edgefest" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Edgefest
by John Sharpe
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise" CD/LP/Track Review Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise
by John Eyles
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Of The Musical" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Musical
by Paul Naser
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "The Whole World Must Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Whole World Must Change
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Cave Art" CD/LP/Track Review Cave Art
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: August 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!