120

People Like Us: Believe It

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
For people like us who prefer their modern mainstream Jazz fresh and inventive, there’s People Like Us, a superbly synchronized and consistently enterprising quartet led by pianist Joel Forrester, featuring the wonderful baritone saxophonist Claire Daly and securely anchored by bassist Dave Hofstra and drummer Denis Charles who died in March ’98 after 23 years as Forrester’s dependable accompanist. Believe It, this is an enormously talented foursome whose lack of name recognition shouldn’t cause one to hesitate for a moment before considering what they have to offer. The quartet traverses half a dozen of Forrester’s original compositions (there are two versions of “Believe It”), and each one is a small–scale paragon of clearheaded and captivating chart–making. Forrester has an uncommonly sharp sense of humor too, and his liner–note commentary on the various songs is worth reading, as is his heartfelt tribute to his fallen comrade, Charles. Based solely on the evidence presented on this, his final recording, the opinion here is that Denis will no doubt be greatly missed, as much for his tasteful and unassuming support as for his whimsical, moderately off–center ad libs. If Charles was the group’s range–finder, Hofstra is its rock, and it’s a pleasure to hear his resonant bass ably shepherding the others toward an unerring groove. Forrester, a sure–handed modernist with an expansive and invariably pleasing keyboard vocabulary, shares the greater part of the solo space with Daly, whose debt to the late Gerry Mulligan is more apparent here than on her recent debut recording, Swing Low (also reviewed this month). But she’s a real talent whose locution is in no way overshadowed by Jeru; she has her own assortment of persuasive ideas and phrases. People Like Us is a superb quartet whose keen musical barometer never drops below stimulating. My only regret is that this is the group’s third recording, and the others somehow slipped past me!


Track Listing:

I Believe It; Flip Flop; Think . . .Pretty; Just Like Him; White Blues; The Baker Bounce; I Believe It II (53:23).

Personnel:

Joel Forrester, piano; Claire Daly, baritone saxophone; Dave Hofstra, bass; Denis Charles, drums.

Contact: Koch International USA, 2 Tri

| Record Label: KOCH International Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Concentric Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Concentric Circles
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Equal Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Crossing
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 10, 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!