154

Jeff King: Catalyst

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Jeff King: Catalyst Saxophonist/woodwind multi-instrumentalist Jeff King has made Toronto his home from the time he came to the city to study jazz, after graduating in classical saxophone, flute and clarinet. Over the years, he has formed his own band and performed with several jazz musicians including a host of Canadians, some of whom are his accomplices on Catalyst. King couldn't have chosen better for his debut recording; each musicians is a luminary in his own right, and brings a lucid and luminescent presence.

King, who wrote all of the compositions except "Don't Give Up" and "Strawberry Fields," judiciously blends several elements that enliven the music and add depth to the groove, both of which are interpreted stylistically by the band.

They waste no time. After a short opening preamble, Richard Rabbit Brown kicks off "Issues" with a funky bass, and keeps the whorls percolating. King is strident on saxophone, but is never over the top, as he funnels a cascade of authoritative phrases that call on hard bop and free cross-fertilization. The atmosphere is almost constantly highly charged, but for a brief bridge that fans soft effects into the mix. It's a well-balanced tune and impacts right across the narrative.

"Getting A Life" provides stark contrast. The resplendent ballad finds King articulating the melody with finesse letting the groove run deep and then filling it with lyrical eloquence. Saxophonist Luis Deniz creates his own sonic space with a loquacious drenching of the tune, using elongated lines to maximum effect. With Joel Haynes adding his signature drum grooves, this slowly turns into a heated calypso, in a seamless switch that keeps the intensity ticking.

King's visitation of "Don't Give Up" and "Strawberry Fields" fires up the songs all over again. He picks the flute on the former, indulging in the melody with sweetness, then changing trajectory by moving from airiness to gently ingrained urgency. The arrangement is expansive, and lets the band look across the field of improvisation, with Brown elucidating the melody engagingly, letting its nectar seep into the senses. David Braid, one of the finest exponents of jazz piano, unveils his expansive technique, meshing it with substantial creativity. He accentuates the thrust with his harmonic drive, and turns what was once pastoral into the blues in tandem with Haynes, who gets a dollop of rhythm to accentuate and add splashes of radiant color.

The melody lines of "Strawberry Fields" open the window to different parameters. Rock is a given locution, but swing, an expansive jazz vocabulary and free improvisation lead to a whole new manifestation.

King's debut CD is seductive, and heralds his coming as a top-notch musician.


Track Listing: Pre-Amble; Issues; Getting a Life; In Transit; Square Peg, Round Hole; Don't Give Up; Busted Straight; Ette's Tour; Wendy Jean; Strawberry Fields.

Personnel: Jeff King: sax, flutes, effects; Luis Deniz: sax, effects; David Braid: piano, Rhodes , synthesizer; Rich Brown: bass; Joel Haynes: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: G-Three | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Something About Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Something About Jobim
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Still Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Still Happy
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Sky Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Sky Begins
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Triadic Episode" CD/LP/Track Review Triadic Episode
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!