319

Ralph Lalama Quartet: Energy Fields

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
An exciting band with a firm melodic grasp, Ralph Lalama's quartet pours over musical themes with emphasis, as accents fall into place with angular motion and improvised forays push forcefully. The leader's suave tenor, John Hart's sultry guitar, Rick Petrone's driving acoustic bass and drummer Joe Corsello's rhythmic thunder combine gracefully to shape each tone poem with a lyrical message. With "Indian Summer," "Blackberry Winter," "Old Folks" and "Like Someone in Love," for example, Lalama and Hart apply vocal-like phrasing that settles in comfortably. Although it's interpreted at a quick tempo, "Just in Time" comes with a similar impression that relies on melody for its foundation. Even Corsello's extended drum solo rises and falls with the punctuation of a lyric that is felt but not spoken.

Faster pieces such as Charlie Parker's "Buzzy" and Wayne Shorter's "United" allow the quartet room to get pumped. Here, Lalama and Hart form muscular phrases and drive the unit emphatically. Improvised madness reigns as each extends his performance beyond melodic interaction and on to creative frenzy. Well within jazz's mainstream, but feeling the freedom to turn random motion into sculpted art, Lalama and Hart light up with abandon. They push and they pull, while creating tension that later resolves with equitable harmony. The album's title draws attention to these areas where improvisation storms madly, but the unifying theme for Energy Fields remains rooted in the quartet's respect for an enjoyable melody.

Track Listing: The Moontrane; Buzzy; Nonchalant; Old Folks; Like Someone in Love; United; Indian Summer; Just In Time; Blackberry Winter.

Personnel: Ralph Lalama: tenor saxophone; John Hart: guitar; Rick Petrone: bass; Joe Corsello: drums.

Title: Energy Fields | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Mighty Quinn Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Here’s to You..." CD/LP/Track Review Here’s to You...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Mogoya" CD/LP/Track Review Mogoya
by James Nadal
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Live 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1972
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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