All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

177

Ginger Baker and the QJ2O: Coward of the County

Robert Middleton By

Sign in to view read count
I wasn't so sure about this CD with it's countryish name and cover art. What has Ginger been up to since his pair of great CD's with Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden in '94 and '96? This CD is the answer and it has definitely been worth the wait! This CD wins my vote for not only the best CD of 1999 but for all of the 90's. It's that good. A good portion of the credit for this album goes to Ron Miles, a gifted trumpeter and arranger who penned the majority of the tunes on "Coward." Two of the eight are by Baker. It's a pretty standard band as a Quintet with Baker on Drums, Miles on trumpet, Fred Hess on Tenor, Artie Moore on Bass and Eric Gunnison on Piano. But then it stretches out into an Octet on several cuts with Shamie Royson on organ, Todd Ayers on guitar and Glenn Taylor on pedal steel. And just to make things interesting, James Carter on baritone joins them for several cuts, often venturing into free territory. The results are spectacular. Like all great jazz you can't pin it down to one thing, but the wonderful synergy of the band and the material is mind blowing. Shoot, I just don't have words for this music, and even trying to describe the tracks wouldn't do them justice. Swinging, driving, rocking, mellow, intense, melodic, beautiful. Unlike so much of jazz today, that feels like a rehash of the past, this CD has a totally modern feel to it while staying firmly rooted in the improvisational tradition. No one holds back. James Carter plays with soul and abandon. The quiet moments as on "Coward of the County" and "Jesus, I Just Want to Go to Sleep" are sublime. "Ginger Spice" just cooks and "Jesus Loves Me" (no, not the old hymn) has more time signatures and changes than any piece of music you've heard. "Daylight" is terrifying, awesome. If this CD doesn't win a grammy and the Downbeat reader's and critic's poll, I'm going on a hunger strike. Long live Ginger Baker and the DJQ2O!!!

Title: Coward Of The County | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: ITM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh CD/LP/Track Review
Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics CD/LP/Track Review
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Invisible Atlas CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Atlas
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Blue Dreams CD/LP/Track Review
Blue Dreams
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
Still Dreaming
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 24, 2018
Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "For 2 Akis" CD/LP/Track Review For 2 Akis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Embodied Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Embodied Hope
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "Somewhere In The Upstream" CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere In The Upstream
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 3, 2018