Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Curtis Fuller: Down Home

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The trombone can be smoothly seductive, raucous, rasping or cheekily fruity by turn. Curtis Fuller is a master of the instrument, a veteran of six decades of top flight jazz who is still full of creativity as a player and writer. Featuring his regular sextet, Down Home is an absolutely delightful recording—a sophisticated collection of tunes performed with a real sense of joy.

Fuller's place in jazz history was assured with his appearance on saxophonist John Coltrane's Blue Train (Blue Note, 1957), at the age of 22. Fuller's tone may have softened in the intervening decades and, in later years, his respiratory power has diminished somewhat, but he remains a player with a consummate command of the trombone and its various tones and textures. Above all, he can still swing—his sense of dynamics and his soulful approach to playing ensure that he continues to produce some fine music.

Fuller contributes six tunes to Down Home, a selection which proves that his compositional ability is just as strong as his playing. "Down Home" has a joyful, swinging groove driven by Ken Walker's jaunty bass line; "Ladies Night" has something of a "Blue Train" feel to its opening refrain; and "Sweetness" is a gentle swinger featuring trumpeter Alan Hood's precise, muted, solo. "The High Priest" is an up-tempo, hard bop tune driven by Walker and drummer Todd Reid, who both play with invention; indeed, the whole sextet lets loose on this terrific, high-energy number.

Pianist Chip Stephens' cheerful, mid-tempo "C Hip's Blues" features a raw-toned solo from Fuller; by contrast, the pianist's "Sadness And Soul" is a ballad whose mood is, as the title suggests, more melancholy and reflective, with Hood and tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman joining Fuller to deliver its graceful melody. Oxman's "Jonli Bercosta" is another up-tempo, hard bop swinger with strong ensemble playing and a standout solo from the saxophonist.

While Fuller is a dominant presence on Down Home, the other musicians each add their own personalities to the music. This is a tight, cohesive, ensemble with a great feel for the music; Down Home wouldn't sound the same if even one of these players was absent. On Down Home, Fuller has a band and a body of work that stands comparison with almost any point in his long and illustrious career.

Track Listing: Down Home; Ladies' Night; C Hip's Blues; Sadness and Soul; Nu Groove; Then I'll Be Tired of You; Mr. L; Sweetness; Jonli Bercosta; The High Priest.

Personnel: Curtis Fuller: trombone; Keith Oxman: tenor sax; Al Hood: trumpet, flugelhorn; Chip Stephens: piano; Ken Walker: bass; Todd Reid: drums.

Title: Down Home | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Capri Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Happy Juice" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Juice
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Live North America 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Live North America 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "We're All Gonna Die" CD/LP/Track Review We're All Gonna Die
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Err Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Err Guitar
by Don Phipps
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!