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Ed Cherry: Are We There Yet?


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Ed Cherry: Are We There Yet?
February is appropriately recognized in the United States as Black History Month. The Cellar Music Group has been in the forefront of acknowledging the importance of Black musicians to jazz in America. With the release of Are We There Yet? by guitarist Ed Cherry, Cellar Music Group presents another release that is led by a Black artist. Cherry who has been a stalwart in the New York jazz scene since 1978, has pulled together a tight band including vibraphonist Monte Croft, Hammond B-3 organist Kyle Koehler and drummer Byron Landham to offer a session that is informed by elements of the blues.

The session opens with a Cherry original, "Jean/Pauline," which he wrote for his two daughters. It is a voluble swinger that gives this slick band space to run through a wide range of changing lines with dogged curiosity. Scintillating guitarist Grant Green wrote "Green Jeans" that gives Cherry and the band an opportunity to unspool the theme in a persuasive way with all the players showing their nimble and assertive capabilities. Cherry and Koehler are a potent harmonically linked pair. Pianist Cedar Walton's "Holy Land" provides the frame for a flowing excursion driven by Cherry's sinewy lines and Koehler's searching and self-assured organ.

Another Cherry original composition is the title track "Are We There Yet?" Infused with a blues aesthetic, the number cooks along with its own steam. Cherry, Croft and Koehler have a fastidious grasp of this tradition providing a contemporary harmonic and sleek rhythmic sensibility. The trend-setting jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery penned "Mr. Walker" with the group giving it a samba beat in the same manner as the Montgomery original. Cherry's picking is precisely calibrated in his own style with Koehler's organ offering a rugged counterpoint.

The album closes with "Tres Palabras" written by the Cuban songwriter and composer Osvaldo Farrés. With a bright Latin beat, Cherry presents himself as guitarist adept with colour and line, while Koehler is accomplished at finessing the full range of the organ. A solid ear-catching outing.

Track Listing

Jean Pauline; Ding Dong; Green Jeans; Holy Land; Japanese Folk Song; Are We There Yet; Spring Is Here; Mr Walker; Lawns; Tres Palabras.


Ed Cherry
Monte Croft
Kyle Koehler
organ, Hammond B3

Album information

Title: Are We There Yet? | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Cellar Records



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