207

The Dan Thomas Quintet: City Scope

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Dan Thomas Quintet: City Scope
City Scope is the debut album as leader for Dan Thomas, a Canadian-born saxophonist who now lives in Kansas City, MO. His talents as player and composer are lavishly praised in the liner notes by friend and colleague Bobby Watson, whose influence is readily apparent in Thomas’s music, especially in his approach to the alto sax, wherein Thomas borrows a few of Watson’s licks but avoids sounding like a carbon copy of his better-known comrade. Other likely role models who spring to mind include Kenny Garrett, Antonio Hart, Vincent Herring and Greg Abate. Thomas plays alto on seven selections, soprano on drummer Jim Eriksen’s “Sertan to Amsterdam” and “Ernastine” and his own “Life with Nedaj” and “Upbeat & Busted.”

The largely bop-based program is comprised solely of original compositions, eight by Thomas, the other three by Eriksen. The time-keeper, a transplanted Chicagoan, is an accomplished musician, as are the other members of the quintet—trumpeter Joe Parisi, pianist Roger Wilder and bassist Bram Wijnands. As for Thomas, he validates his credentials from the outset with an earnest soprano solo on “Sertan,” then reinforces them by solidly nailing every other shot, whether on alto or soprano. Parisi is an able sidekick, soloing with assurance on every track but “Ernastine,” on which the quintet is pared to a quartet, and Wilder is consistently brilliant when given an opportunity to shine, as he is on a number of occasions.

Although unfamiliar, the music is quite pleasant and well-written with enough variation in mood and tempo to nourish almost anyone’s interest. If I am partial to the burners (“Wablin’,” “City Scope”), that’s only because I grew up listening to Bird, Diz, Clifford, the Messengers and other exponents of chops-busting calisthenics, not because anything else on offer is less than agreeable. In fact, there are pleasures of many stripes from blues (“For BooDee”) to ballad (“Silent Summer Storm”), gospel (“Upbeat & Busted”) to Latin (“Life with Nedaj”) and even a hint of the Middle East on “Temple of Faith.” In sum, an absorbing discourse among five talented musicians with many provocative things to say.

Track Listing

Sertan to Amsterdam; Green Card; Temple of Faith; Leading the Blind; City Scope; Silent Summer Storm; Blues for BooDee; Ernastine; Life with Nedaj; Wablin

Personnel

Dan Thomas, alto, soprano saxophone; Joe Parisi (1-7, 9-11), trumpet; Roger Wilder, piano; Bram Wijnands, bass; Jim Eriksen, drums.

Album information

Title: City Scope | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Independent Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read All Figured Out
All Figured Out
Derek Brown and The Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra
Read Supersense
Supersense
Steph Richards
Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.