2

Curtis Fuller: Down Home

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Curtis Fuller: Down Home 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 The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Pole Of Inaccessibility" CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Brückenshlag" CD/LP/Track Review Brückenshlag
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 9, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.