It would be hard to argue with bassist and leader Ron McClure when he assesses the musicians assembled here as being a “dream team”. Drummer Billy Hart alone guarantees the success of just about any record date he is a part of, while pianist Marc Copland has recently been turning heads with his own acclaimed series of Savoy dates. The ringer here is likely to be tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, at long last getting his due thanks to a viable gig with bandleader Maria Schneider and his own superlative SteepleChase discs.
What we have here are eight modern originals penned by McClure (albeit one cut written by Copland) that have been tailor-made for the ensemble on deck. Perry’s virile and ingenious solo work is of great interest throughout, as are Copland’s expansive forays. McClure judiciously spreads his solo time throughout the set, while Hart colors each composition with a style that is marked by his innovative use of cymbal colors and textures.
No need here to go into boundless track-by-track detail, except to say that fans of McClure’s mainstream fare will no doubt revel in this latest set to see an American release.
Personnel: Ron McClure- bass, Rich Perry- tenor saxophone, Marc Copland- piano, Billy Hart- drums
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.