Multi-reedman, Talib Kibwe a.k.a. T.K. Blue has been lurking in the shadows albeit in workmanlike fashion while serving as musical director for Randy Weston or supporting the legendary Abdullah Ibrahim. On Another Blue T.K. Blue gets his day in the Sun (and deservedly so...) under the auspices of Arkadia Records’ producer Bob Karcy.
Here, Blue puts all of his savvy and years of shedding to fruition with this release on Bob Karcy’s burgeoning Arkadia record label. Blue displays extraordinary flair and technical acumen on trumpeter Tony Branker’s composition titled Chant For Peace Eternal”. Blue’s soaring and engagingly melodic alto sax work speaks volumes while backed by a horn section consisting of Branker and trombonist Bob Ferrel. Blue’s fluid and clear toned phrasing is impressive on Wayne Shorter’s “This Is For Albert”, supported by a fiercely swinging rhythm section comprising astute veterans, Cecil Brooks III (d) and Santi DeBriano (b). Blue’s richly melodic “Evening Prayer” is sure-fire tension reliever featuring lush thematic motifs and a simply gorgeous trombone solo by Bob Ferrel. On “Evening Prayer”, Blue reaches for the heavens through a delicate, light-as-a-feather touch demonstrating his keen utilization of vibrato and tremolo techniques. Despite his proficient technical gifts, Blue is a stickler for nuance and detail, and performs as if he were walking on water, sans the overly saccharine smooth jazz stereotypes. Bud Powell’s “Hallucinations” gets a contemporary be-bop lift via Blue’s crisp yet ephemeral articulations on the flute, supported by the lightly swinging yet full steam ahead rhythm section. Other highlights are, Blue’s sprightly rendition of Miles Davis’ “Solar”, a duet performance of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night In Tunisia” featuring pianist Randy Weston and Blue’s Caribbean inspired “Pileau”.
Another Blue is a first class production, as T. K. Blue along with fine support demonstrates a well balanced compositional mix, multidimensional approach and warrants high marks for accessibility and entertainment. No frills or hidden agendas here, this is... good jazz the way it’s meant to be... * * * *
Personnel: T. K. Blue; Saxophones, Flute, Kalimba: James Weidman; Piano: Santi DeBriano; Bass: Cecil Brooks III; Drums: Guillerme Franco; Percussion: Michael Cochrane; Piano: Calvin Hill; Bass: Greg Bufford; Drums: Tony Branker; Trumpet: Bob Ferrel; Trombone: Lenny Argese; Guitar
Special Guests: Onaje Allan Gumbs; Piano: Randy Weston; Piano: Eddie Henderson; Trumpet
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.