All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

272

Mike Mainieri: Crescent

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Nearly forty-five years after the death of John Coltrane, jazz players still feel compelled to negotiate his music. Young cats wrestle with the harmonic complexities and attempt to conquer the saxophonist icon's mighty energy. Luckily, players like vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and saxophonist Charlie Mariano have made peace with the legend. Their document, in this two-disc set, is a fitting tribute to both the music of Coltrane and Mariano, for this was to be one of his last recordings before passing away in 2009.

Mainieri and longtime friend Mariano conceived and recorded this session with bassist Dieter Ilg in 2005. Mariano, a bebop protege in the 1950s, would play with Stan Kenton, Toshiko Akiyoshi and Charles Mingus, before exploring fusion and Indian music. Like Coltrane, his graduation from bebop was one into the possibilities of a universal sound.

Mainieri played with Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, and Wes Montgomery. His prestige was earned as founder of Steps Ahead, with Michael Brecker—a unique and innovative fusion band. Later he turned producer and label chief with NYC Records, releasing Twelve Pieces (NYC, 2009) with guitarist Marnix Busstra's quartet.

Crescent covers half Coltrane originals and half music identified with Trane's career. With a relaxed command of the material, the pair trades brief solos throughout, smiling at the unclenched amity of the meeting. Even a song like "Giant Steps" receives the chilled-out treatment. The bass line opening gives way to an almost tension-less rendition. Like the 1959 original, the pair makes the complex seem effortless, Mainieri and Mariano's familiarity breeding respect. Whether levitating on the title track or gliding with the beautiful "Naima," the pair makes captivating and heavenly music.

Like Coltrane's music, it isn't critical they cover only his originals. The six other tracks are tunes widely associated with Trane, plus an affectionate cover of "America." Playing Cole Porter's "I Love You," Jimmy Van Heusen's "Like Someone In Love," and Ray Henderson's "Bye Bye Blackbird" the pair (with Ilg as steady companion) opt for a gentle swing and nodding "how do you do." All grippingly beautiful, Crescent is a sumptuous recording.

Track Listing: CD1: Mr. Syms; Like Someone In Love; I Love You; Wise One; Nancy; Ole; Naima. CD2: Crescent; Miles' Mode; What's New; Giant Steps; Body And Soul; America.

Personnel: Mike Mainieri: vibraphone; Charlie Mariano: alto saxophone; Dieter Ilg: double-bass.

Title: Crescent | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: NYC Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Like Someone in Love

Like Someone in Love

Mike Mainieri
Crescent

The Brat

The Brat

Mike Mainieri
2.0

Don't Break Step

Don't Break Step

Mike Mainieri
Twelve Pieces

Book Excerpts
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Rain Makers

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2011

buy
2.0

2.0

NYC Records
2010

buy
Crescent

Crescent

NYC Records
2010

buy
Twelve Pieces

Twelve Pieces

NYC Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Terrestrial CD/LP/Track Review
Terrestrial
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Get Somethin' CD/LP/Track Review
Get Somethin'
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Bansangu Orchestra CD/LP/Track Review
Bansangu Orchestra
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read "Radio Omnibus" CD/LP/Track Review Radio Omnibus
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "Body and Shadow" CD/LP/Track Review Body and Shadow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Bluer Than Velvet: The Prysock Project" CD/LP/Track Review Bluer Than Velvet: The Prysock Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 29, 2018
Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" CD/LP/Track Review Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Parts Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Parts Unknown
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017