All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

104

Adam Kolker: Crazybird

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
“Crazybird” represents a group of young, talented New York based modern jazz musicians led by saxophonist Adam Kolker. Kolker has sewn roots with the likes of Maria Schneider, Bobby Previte and others.

The set opens with an up-tempo take on Monk’s “Green Chimneys”. A New Orleans style shuffle beat adds a fresh twist while quickly transforming into a bump and grind swing bash. Drummer Jeff Ballard shines here and throughout with polyrhythmic force and ferocious swing. Ballard is also a member of the New York Jazz Collective and is a definite star on the rise! The exciting and technically gifted Tim Hagans takes a few choruses on the Trumpet generating scintillating dynamics while utilizing all registers of his horn. This may be the most explosive version of “Green Chimneys” this writer has heard. Kolker gets his solo space and makes every note a poignant and thoughtful statement. Kolker is very deliberate and employs a husky or brooding sound. His sensitive use of space suggests under statement and contrast. Young and much in demand session ace, pianist Kevin Hays adds his touch of melody, huge block chord progressions and fluid single note right hand runs. The r! hythm section of Ballard and bassist Doug Weiss dance and dart all over the place. Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” is given mystical and soothing treatment accented by Ballard’s subtle tom-tom work. Here, Kolker’s soft airy Tenor Sax indicates maturity and proficient control over his instrument. Kolker aims to “suggest” as opposed to engaging in laborious soloing and chops bravado. One of Kolker’s key attributes is to initiate brief flurries or statements yet maintaining impeccable intonation. Kolker’s original composition titled “Over Again” is a probing yet swinging piece featuring some fluent Soprano sax work. Six of the Eight tracks are Kolker originals showcasing his compositional might.

The general theme is upbeat and colorful. These cats are tight yet perform with a loose feel. “Crazybird” is a notch or two above most of the post-bop modern jazz that has saturated the market. Kolker and co. distinguish themselves in persuasive fashion. Recommended.


Personnel:

Adam Kolker; Tenor, Soprano Saxes, Bass Clarinet: Tim Hagans; Trumpet: Kevin Hays; Piano: Doug Weiss; Bass: Jeff Ballard; Drums http:// www.challenge.nl

Title: Crazybird | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Challenge Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Wide Open Jazz and Beyond
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Beckon

Beckon

Sunnyside Records
2017

buy
Reflections

Reflections

Sunnyside Records
2011

buy
La Perfeccio de la Irrealitat

La Perfeccio de la...

New Mood Jazz Records
2011

buy
Flag Day

Flag Day

Sunnyside Records
2009

buy
La Perfeccio de la Irrealitat

La Perfeccio de la...

New Mood Jazz Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read First Impressions CD/LP/Track Review
First Impressions
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two CD/LP/Track Review
Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review
In Stride
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Osmosis CD/LP/Track Review
Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018
Read Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest CD/LP/Track Review
Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "Mist. Moss. Home." CD/LP/Track Review Mist. Moss. Home.
by Jim Olin
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Danza Imposible" CD/LP/Track Review Danza Imposible
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "A Gathering Foretold" CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Random Acts of Order" CD/LP/Track Review Random Acts of Order
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete NPR Jazz Alive! Recording" CD/LP/Track Review Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete...
by John Kelman
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Say" CD/LP/Track Review Say
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 30, 2018