208

Mark Griffith: Drumatic

By

Sign in to view read count
Bluejay Records is an inspirational company that was founded by Cecil Brooks III and Nat Simpkins several years ago and is based out of Manchester, MA. Its existence shows that plenty of initiative still exists in the jazz world, and that artists today are striving to maintain the integrity that comes from doing something independently. Their recording artists have netted high-profile musicians Steve Turre, Don Braden, Bryan Carrott, and Steve Wilson as sidemen and have generally shown to be solid leaders in their own right.

Drumatic claims to be groundbreaking in that all of its compositions were penned by drummers, but this seems more of a cop-out than a point of praise. Mark Griffith, who contributes only one tune of his own, is breaking absolutely no new ground here, as most of the tracks fall far short of their originals. Understandably, drummers are often lesser writers as well, since they rarely deal with melody or harmony and often lack much more than a superficial knowledge of the two. Another of Drumatic 's problems is its need of a clear leader. Griffith immediately fades to the background after the first few notes of Denzil Best's "Move," not to resurface until the closing title track, which is a percussive duet between Griffith and Robert Brosh. Despite this, the recording is nothing to be ashamed of. All six musicians cover the tunes ably, and rising star David Gilmore is able to inject several of the pieces with some much-needed energy. Perenially overlooked vibraphonist Bryan Carrott offers more testimony that he is rightfully one of the most in-demand vibists on the scene (his presence graces Dave Douglas's recent release Witness ), and Steve Wilson blows competently throughout. This being only Bluejay's seventh release, the label's future is encouraging and its stock should rise once its musicians are willing to take more risks and employ some true creativity.


Track Listing: 1. Move; 2. Juicy Fruit; 3. Pee Wee; 4. Circle Dance; 5. Song of Serenity; 6. Big Girls; 7. Where Or Wayne; 8. Patterns; 9. Stompin' at the Savoy; 10. Drumatic.

Personnel: STEVE WILSON, soprano & alto saxophones; JAMES STEWART, tenor saxophone; BRYAN CARROT, vibraphone; DAVID GILMORE, guitar; KENNY DAVIS, bass; MARK GRIFFITH, drums; ROBERT BROSH, percussion (on "Drumatic" only).

| Record Label: Bluejay Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Ben Webster Ben Webster
sax, tenor
Phil Woods Phil Woods
sax, alto
Gene Ammons Gene Ammons
sax, tenor
Michael Dease Michael Dease
trombone
Gordon Johnson Gordon Johnson
bass, acoustic
Ed Bickert Ed Bickert
guitar
Al Porcino Al Porcino
trumpet

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "Imagine Nation" CD/LP/Track Review Imagine Nation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Book II" CD/LP/Track Review Book II
by John Sharpe
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Seven Storey Mountain V" CD/LP/Track Review Seven Storey Mountain V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Groove Legacy" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Legacy
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!