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...

230

Pee Wee Russell: Ask Me Now

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Pee Wee Russell enjoyed a significant comeback with the original release of this session. Not content to live in the past, Russell doesn’t gaze in the rearview mirror as far back as we would expect. First off, he has chosen a program of (at the time) modern works by the likes of Coleman, Monk, and Coltrane, instead of the earlier jazz tunes that were his forte. Second, Russell dispenses with a piano and instead shares the front line Marshall Brown on valve trombone and bass trumpet, again showing a decidedly forward thinking line-up.

However, instead of coming across like the Coleman Quartet, Russell’s group achieves a sound that shares more in common with the Mulligan/Baker collaboration, using counterpoint and harmony to create unique and novel melodies. Every tune is taken at a relaxed pace, which only serves to emphasize the precise swing of George and Bedford. Most people felt that the clarinet had no place in the direction jazz was heading, yet Russell’s wooden, earthy soloing nudges the instrument into a fresh context.

As a result we have a jazz veteran who shows a remarkable facility for navigating new tunes without sounding uncomfortable, and who as a result created one of the finest records of his career. How many artists near sixty can say the same?


See Combing the Verve Catalog for related reviews.
Visit Verve on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Turnaround 2. How About Me? 3. Ask Me Now 4. Some Other Blues 5. I

Personnel: Pee Wee Russell-clarinet; Marshall Brown-valve trombone, bass trumpet; Russell George-bass; Ronnie Bedford-drums.

Title: Ask Me Now | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Impulse!

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Morphometry" CD/LP/Track Review Morphometry
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Suite Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Theory
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Atlantic Bridge" CD/LP/Track Review Atlantic Bridge
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Great Lakes" CD/LP/Track Review Great Lakes
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn" CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017