193

Joe Locke & 4 Walls Of Freedom: Dear Life

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Locke & 4 Walls Of Freedom: Dear Life Consider the following: A musical concept that allows for total freedom within the context of the four walls of melody, rhythm, harmony and form is brought to fruition. Each player brings to this space instrumental virtuosity, a unique timbre, and a personal sense of dynamics and coloration. The first heady energetic foray into these circumscribed confines is a success. But then terrible tragedy strikes outside the walls and we learn how Dear Life really is.

With last year's 4 Walls of Freedom , vibraphonist Joe Locke accomplished his conceptual and compositional goals. By combining the powerful energy of Bob Berg's tenor sax with his own instrument's unique voice, Locke became a force to reckon with on the international jazz landscape. With the tragic death of Berg, Locke has enlisted Scottish tenor man Tommy Smith and a rhythm section of drummer Gary Novak and bassist Ed Howard to reflect on and celebrate the dearness of life.

The extended "Wind In Your Willow" shows Smith to have a relaxed rounded tone as he effectively brings the piece to a point where some inventive soloing can come to the fore. Locke, as would an experienced pianist, excels at augmenting Smith with intriguing vibraphonic chords and then stepping in himself to stretch the boundaries. By mastering the vibraphone's subtle chordal abilities, he is able to effect what amounts to an orchestral sound in concert with Novak's expansive drumming. This is evident in the title piece, which proves to be a moving composition of awe and reverence. The vibes' exquisite coloration capabilities are utilized to differentiate amongst faint shades of grey on an ethereal solo interpretation of pianist Renee Rosnes' "Manhattan Rain," while "Verazano Moon" equally has Smith delicately displaying admiration for the beauty of celestial wonder. Dear Life successfully reflects on unanswerable questions within the space of Locke's four walls.


Track Listing: Wind in Your Willow; Dear Life; Cut and Paste; Eva; Ennui; For B.B.; Manhattan Rain; Malonius; Verrazano Moon.

Personnel: Joe Locke: vibes, midi vibes, marimba; Tommy Smith: tenor saxophone; Ed Howard: acoustic bass; Gary Novak: drums.

Title: Dear Life | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sirocco Music Limited


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interview
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "New Birth" CD/LP/Track Review New Birth
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "A Chicken in a Bottle" CD/LP/Track Review A Chicken in a Bottle
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Open Air" CD/LP/Track Review Open Air
by John Kelman
Published: June 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.