8

Dick Sisto/Steve Allee Quartet: Earth Tones

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Dick Sisto/Steve Allee Quartet: Earth Tones 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

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "O Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review O Horizonte
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "My Head Is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.