All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

8

Dick Sisto/Steve Allee Quartet: Earth Tones

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
While Earth Tones is the first album credited to the Dick Sisto/Steve Allee Quartet, it's not this foursome's first rodeo. This group has been at it as a working band for quite a while now, and it previously released Spirit of Life (Jazzen, 2013)—a date under Sisto's name that concentrates on the work of John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. This follow-up focuses on originals, as all but one of the nine tracks come from Sisto or Allee, and it's a friendly date that lives up to its title's promise by focusing on warm and rich colors in a variety of settings.

Everything here falls under the straight-ahead category, but not everything falls into the same stylistic bag. There are relaxed swingers, balladic sounds, cheery escapades, Latin-to-swing vehicles, and more. Sisto's vibraphone and Allee's piano serve as the primary voices throughout, but the cooperative nature of this combo is evident in the interactions of the quartet and in the way solo space is doled out. The conversation is never forced and everybody gets to shine.

This album sets sail with some lyricism and cool-blooded swing in the form of Sisto's "For The Little Ones," and it docks with his angular, bop-influenced "Free Bird." There's no shortage of inspired sounds in those tracks and in the journey that takes place in between them. This quartet courts the sounds of Brazil on Allee's "Zebra Dreams," shifts rhythmic gears on Sisto's "No Time Like Now," and downshifts Bill Evans' "Only Child" into a dreamier-than-normal realm. All the while these four manage to stress a collective belief in the art of direct communication.

Those looking for high-level soloing will find it—bassist Jeremy Allen's stand on "Retroactive," drummer Jason Tiemann's trading on "Silver Cloud," any number of strong showings from the co-leaders—but individual heroics are only part of the package. The songs and the frank approach with which they're presented are just as important as any solo statements on the easy-to-enjoy Earth Tones.

Track Listing: For The Little Ones; Zebra Drams; Blue Planet; Conversation With Bill; No TIme Like Now; Only Child; Retroactive; Silver Cloud; Free Bird.

Personnel: Dick Sisto: vibraphone; Steve Allee: piano; Jeremy Allen: acoustic bass; Jason Tiemann: drums.

Title: Earth Tones | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter" CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 5, 2018
Read "The Bowels Of Jupiter" CD/LP/Track Review The Bowels Of Jupiter
by Don Phipps
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Aqustico vol 2" CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Second Act" CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "async Remodels" CD/LP/Track Review async Remodels
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 17, 2018