2

Curtis Fuller: Down Home

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Curtis Fuller: Down Home Legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller was 22 years old when he played on John Coltrane's landmark Blue Train (Blue Note, 1957), and the saxophonist remained best friends with Fuller during the 1950s and '60s. In 2005, the trombonist met saxophonist Keith Oxman, and has since developed a friendship leading to Fuller's favorable comparison of his new friend to Coltrane. For the past seven years, Fuller has been performing and recording with a sextet of players he now calls his "band of choice" which, he has assembled, once again, for Down Home.

At the ripe youthful age of 77, Fuller shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to produce one album after another. This terrific recording is a follow-up to Story of Cathy & Me (Challenge, 2011) and I Will Tell Her (Capri Records, 2010); while these albums served as tributes to his late wife Cathy, Down Home has no real theme, as Fuller's band focuses its attention on laying down some phenomenal post-bop swing. One sampling of the hot opening title track is enough to convince anyone that truly swinging affair is about to be unveiled. "Ladies Night" follows, an affirmation of that feeling after Oxman, Fuller and trumpeter Alan Hood contribute their solo magic.

Pianist Chip Stephens contributes a couple of charts with the bluesy "C Hip's Blues" and "Sadness and Soul," a more relaxing, down-tempo tune that may not swing but is pleasantly buoyed by a deliciously sweet melody. Bassist Ken Walker and drummer Todd Reid help Stephens pronounce the rhythm section on the expansive "Nu Groove," though Fuller and Oxman do get in their licks. The rhythm section once again joins forces on "Then I'll Be Tired of You," turning in the album's highlight with a gorgeous rendition of this warm-toned, 1934 standard from Yip Harburg and Arthur Schwartz.

Fuller and crew return to the recording's lively upbeat texture, offering the propulsive "Mr. L.," the engaging "Sweetness," and Oxman's bumpy, hard-driving "Jonli Bercosta," where the saxophonist delivers some of his best solo lines. Fuller and his "band of choice" close it out as they began, swinging mightily on the trombonist's last original "The High Priest." No wonder Fuller is a living legend; this great artist prefers to dwell in the present, offering new music as often as he can and, with Down Home, demonstrating that his talents as a performer and writer have not diminished with time. A truly superb outing from one of today's jazz greats, this should be commonplace by now, as it's a certainty that Fuller is already working on his next disc.

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 saxophone; Al Hood: trumpet, Flugelhorn; Chip Stephens: piano; Ken Walker: bass; Todd Reid: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Capri Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "I Have Known Mountains" CD/LP/Track Review I Have Known Mountains
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Open Window / Flying Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Open Window / Flying Colors
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!