Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
357

Courtney Pine: Devotion

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count Views
Courtney Pine: Devotion

The management typically frowns on an initial discourse regarding the issuing record label when writing a review, but in the case of Courtney Pine's debut on Telarc Jazz, I feel it is warranted.  Compared with the majority of Telarc's releases (dead middle mainstream) Mr. Pine's new release can only be approached by those of Monty Alexander's with respect to pushing the genre envelope, and honestly, Mr. Alexander has nothing on Courtney Pine.



Born March 18, 1964 in London, England, Courtney Pine was to emerge in the mid-1980s as the next John Coltrane at the same time Wynton Marsalis sounded like the heir to Miles Davis.  He grew up playing funk and reggae before migrating to the edge of jazz standards.  He is a master of several instruments, including the soprano and tenor saxophones and that most difficult mistress, the bass clarinet.  He released several fine recordings on Antilles/Island ( Journey to the Urge Within ) but lost direction in the mid-1990s.



Devotion is Courtney Pine's first release since 1998's Another Story.  It is a loud, jazzy, funky, reggae, rocking affair bursting at the seams with cross influences and counter rhythms.  The recording is as highly produced as most contemporary and smooth jazz offerings...but contemporary or smooth jazz this is not.  In fact, if I were to have to describe this disc with one line it would be—"Devotion is the reincarnation of Julian and Nate Adderley's Band in the 22nd Century."  After an electric introduction the disc blasts off with Pine's "Soul Sister," a transmogrified "Work Song" as a Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" taken to infinity.  The title cut has a reggae vibe with Pine weaving in and out like the ghost of Eddie Harris calling out the name of Les McCann.



Pine extends his jazz-funk jones into his compositions "Osibisa," a big band Latin groove, and "Translusance," which contains some nifty off-beat drumming, a killer hook and a sitar (I hear early Rolling Stones and late Beatles here).  "UK" might be the best piece on the record, a cross between the Stax House and 1980s Saturday Night Live Bands.  The instrumental pieces are better than the vocal pieces and there is plenty of Pine for everyone.  Had Mr. Pine been wandering in the desert before, he has emerged into the oasis of his own making.



Visit Courtney Pine and Telarc Jazz on the web.


Track Listing: Introduction--Release; Sister Soul; Devotion; Bless The Weather; Interlude--The Saxophone Song; Osibisa; Translusance; UK; Interlude--Karma; When The World Turns Blue; Everyday Is Everyday; Outro--With All Of My Love.

Personnel: Courtney Pine--Soprano, Tenor Saxophones, Bass Clarinet, Alto Flute, Pro Tools; Cameron Pierre--Guitars; Chris Jerome--Keyboards; Robert Fordjour--Drums; Thomas Dyani--Percussion; David Mcalmont, Carleen Anderson--Vocals; Robert Mitchell--Piano; Dennis Rollins--Trombone; Byron Wallin--Trumpet; Yousuf Ali Khan--Tabla; Sheema Mukherjee--Sitar.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop For Jazz

Extended Analysis
Scumbles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Courtney Pine: House of Legends
Courtney Pine: House...
Destin-E Records
2013
buy
[no cover]
House Of Legends
Antilles
2012
buy
[no cover]
Europa
Antilles
2011
buy
Transition In Tradition
Transition In...
Destin-E Records
2009
buy
[no cover]
Resistance
Antilles
2005
buy
Devotion
Devotion
Telarc Records
2005
buy
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy Gillespie
trumpet
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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