Many folks remember the late drummer John Stevens, primarily for his leadership of the pioneering British free improvising unit Spontaneous Music Ensemble. But with this live quartet date, culled from a 1992 jazz festival, Stevens and lesser-known jazz men turn in a sweltering, modern-bop set, awash with trumpeter/flugelhornist Byron Wallen and saxophonist Ed Jones' passionate exchanges. Stevens sets the foundation with snappy fills and rapidly swinging pulses. To that end, the excitement seldom dwindles during this upbeat exposition.
Multi-reedman Michael Attias benefits from an ace rhythm section. And while Attias' smooth tone and fluid lines generate an airy vibe, there's no shortage of power and determination here. Drummer Satoshi Takeishi rounds out the big picture with offbeat fills and pumping beats. Attias and bassist John Hebert harmonize the primary themes while the former improvises with a given melody line as he often blasts out razor sharp progressions. Complete with knotty arrangements, and upward movements, the trio makes it all seem so effortless.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.