214

Billy Drummond: Dubai

By

Sign in to view read count
Billy Drummond: Dubai There is a strong tradition of piano-less groups in jazz. Some examples include Sonny Rollins' trio sessions, nearly all of Ornette Coleman's work, and the great Chet Baker / Gerry Mulligan collaborations. Dubai recalls the great sessions that Elvin Jones led in the late 60's and early 70's. The format demands more of the listener and the musicians as well. But the space that is created can stimulate some truly inspired improvisations. That's what happens here.

Billy Drummond is a powerful and highly musical drummer. He is showcased beautifully in this piano-less quartet setting. Two fine reedmen, Chris Potter and Walt Weiskopf are also given ample opportunity to stretch out. The program is nicely varied and never less than thoroughly engaging, especially if you are draw to this sort of open sounding instrumentation. Peter Washington lays down great, solid support throughout.

Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing For You" is a medium-fast springboard for the players to introduce themselves; Potter and Weiskopf are full of ideas and both have nice fat, tones on tenor sax. Potter throws out lines that may make you think of Coleman Hawkins one moment and of Sonny Rollins the next. Weiskopf has a darker tone that speaks of John Coltrane's influence but neither he nor Potter descend into rote imitation. They both have plenty to say in their own words. A short and satisfying solo by Washington leads to exchanges between the hornmen and Drummond, and the stage is set for the rest of this superb disc.

Drummond offers his composition as the title track, a middle-eastern sounding line in 7/4 which has the percussionist showing his love for Elvin Jones-esque wailing in support of Potter's soprano sax and more tenor from Weiskopf. The track literally burns. Pat Metheny's lovely ballad "The Bat" inspires tender statements from Potter and Washington with Drummond painting impressionistic colors on the cymbals. The intensity builds steadily on "Drumhead," a Weiskopf tune, until it reaches a saxophonic climax. The bass drops out when things reach critical mass but he jumps back in to save them from self-immolation. More great interplay on Weiskopf's "Invisible Sun" with Potter's bass clarinet and soprano darting around the tenor lines. Back to two tenors on "Bananafish" by Potter. A Calypso feel adds spice to the stew. Weiskopf does a ballad turn on Billy Strayhorn's Daydream and the session leaves us wanting more as the quartet does a slippery dance on Dewey Redman's "Mushi-Mushi."

Dubain (a 1996 release) is worth searching out. Billy Drummond has produced a gem of a recording that offers up the best that jazz has to offer. Great tunes, superb musicianship, and something new to hear with each listening. I can't keep this out of my CD player.

Year Released: 1995 | Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

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 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 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 "Because I Love You" CD/LP/Track Review Because I Love You
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Gin Fizz Fandango" CD/LP/Track Review Gin Fizz Fandango
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Two Steps from the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Two Steps from the Blues
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 18, 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!