Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

408

Gerald Cleaver: Detroit

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Detroit, Gerald Cleaver's sophomore release and a tone portrait of the Motor City, further establishes the drummer, best known as a prolific and versatile sideman, as a leader and composer in his own right. A brief photo essay in the liner notes displaying dilapidated buildings and skid-row denizens strikes a melancholy tone, but the music is anything but.

Cleaver's tunes are vigorous and compelling: "The Silly One" has through-composed accents that lend it effortless forward motion; "Henry" has slow moving harmonic pads and a canon-like structure with interesting textures; "Step Three" is upbeat, a nice tune with tasteful touches; the additive rhythms of "Seven Sisters Down" creates the effect of a limping 'waltz'; and the title track, one of the best, has a catchy A-section and intermeshing horn lines in the B-section.

Cleaver culled the talents of JD Allen (tenor), Andrew Bishop (soprano, tenor and bass clarinet), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ben Waltzer (piano) and Chris Lightcap (bass) to interpret his work and a fine team it is. Bishop's deep clarinet and soprano fill out the tonal canvas; his soprano solo on "Step Three" is both exploratory and cohesive. Pelt is consistently excellent, varying his tone and mood to suit the aesthetic environment, at times modestly underplaying, at others gasping and whooping with dramatic flair. Allen and Waltzer, too, are versatile and empathetic to the needs of the song, the former prone to extended fiery outbursts, the latter typified by chromatically-embellished, thematically-unified improvisations.

Simultaneously mainstream and forward-thinking, self-contained yet open-ended, Detroit embodies the currency and vitality of its namesake's hard bop legacy in today's creative music scene.


Track Listing: Far East; (For wrath kills the foolish man, and envy slays) The Silly One; Henry; Step Three; Dorham; Grateful; Seven Sisters Down; Carla's Day; Found; Pilgrim's Progress; 6350; Detroit (Keep It in Mind); Praise the Lord!.

Personnel: Gerald Cleaver: drums; J. D. Allen: tenor saxophone; Andrew Bishop: soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet; Jeremy Pelt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Chris Lightcap: bass; Ben Waltzer: piano.

Title: Detroit | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Chansons Du Crepuscule" CD/LP/Track Review Chansons Du Crepuscule
by Don Phipps
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Saturday Night Dogs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Night Dogs
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Long Haul" CD/LP/Track Review Long Haul
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Sparse" CD/LP/Track Review Sparse
by Don Phipps
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "Mu'U" CD/LP/Track Review Mu'U
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 12, 2017