165

Bruce Barth: East and West

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count

MAXJAZZ Inaugurates their long awaited follow up to the Vocal Series with the Piano Series—and the label debut of one of their own.

Pianist Bruce Barth is a producer for MAXJAZZ. He has been instrumental in producing the highly successful Vocal Series for the label. He now steps halfway out of the sound booth and gets behind his piano to produce, with the help of an all-star cast, jazz of great complexity, thoughtfulness and sensitivity. I don't know if Mr. Barth is doing anything different, but the refinement in this music seems to elevate it to a level somewhere well-beyond what usually crosses my desk. That is saying a lot because I have listened to precious little bad music.

Barth's compositions have an old time feel while remaining strictly contemporary. "At The Ranch" evokes a "Hot Fives and Sevens" temperament in the head and middle Miles feel in the solos. This duplex philosophy is further explored in the standards "I'm Old Fashioned" and "My Shining Hour". The disc is saxophone heavy, with all but the baritone represented. Adam Kolker, who spends most of his time in the tenor chair, pulls out the bass clarinet to provide a Harry Carney/Eric Dolphy ambience. Likewise soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome adds a Coltrane flair to the whole affair. Newcomer Terell Stafford, hot off his recent Nagel Heyer release Fields of Gold proves why he is the new next-best-thing-to-sliced-bread.

All in all, East and West is a really superb offering. I look forward to then next releases in the Piano Series.


Track Listing: At The Beach; I'm Old Fashioned; Riding Off; Sundown Time; The Lexter; Ask Me Now; The Dude; A Joyful Noise; My Shining Hour; Let's Call This. (Total Time: 58:50)

Personnel: Bruce Barth: Piano; Terell Stafford: Trumpet And Flugelhorn; Steve Wilson: Alto And Soprano Saxophones And Clarinet; Adam Kolker: Tenor Saxophone And Bass Clarinet; Sam Newsome: Soprano Saxophone; Ugonna Okegwo: Bass; Al Foster: Drums.

Title: East And West | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: MAXJAZZ


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "The Darkening Blue" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkening Blue
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Riser" CD/LP/Track Review Riser
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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