175

Rick Helzer: Face In The Mirror

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Rick Helzer: Face In The Mirror Rick Helzer, composer/pianist/author and Associate Director of Jazz Studies at San Diego State University, displays a complex yet delectably attainable approach to modern jazz. With perennial poll winner James Newton appearing on flute on selected works, the various ensemble alignments provide a discerning glimpse into Helzer's linearly designed and lyrically rich compositional style.

Helzer bridges the best of several jazz-inflected idioms here, consisting of the soloists' brisk unison choruses often tied into bop-like patterns and glancing shifts in meter. He fuses an upbeat vibe that is periodically softened up with Newton's airy passages and saxophonist David Borger or flugelhornist Derek Cannon's exploratory solo flights. On Meade Lux Lewis' "Tell Your Story, Helzer injects stride and bluesy piano motifs into a blithe swing groove. But mobility is the name of the game throughout this stirring affair. During "By His Wounds We Are Healed, Helzer and Newton exchange precise unison lines for a piece that is dappled with subtly penetrating developments.

Ultimately the ensemble maintains a prominent sense of swing amid the fleeting canons of hard bop, where the artists generally expand matters into stylized and structured variations of a given theme. There's quite a bit to get revved up about during this superb reckoning of progressive jazz. Hopefully, Helzer's status will enjoy an upsurge in notoriety due to this articulately arranged and vastly persuasive album. A top ten pick for 2005.


Track Listing: Fire Storms; The Mentor (To James Newton); Tell Your Story (To Meade Lux Lewis); Nobody's Song But Kenny's (To Kenny Wheeler); Bell Chimes In (To Lori Bell); Two Witnesses; By His Wounds We Are Healed; He Who Is Acquainted With Sorrow; Sounds Like; Mingus Meditations; Gethsemane.

Personnel: Chris Conner: bass; David Borgo: tenor sax (4), soprano sax (8); Derek Cannon: flugelhorn (4, 8); Duncan Moore: drums; James Newton: flute (2, 10); Joseph Howell: clarinet (3, 11); Kim Richmond: alto sax (1), soprano sax (6); Lori Bell: flute (5, 8); Rick Helzer: piano.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Nine Winds Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
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 "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Rivers" CD/LP/Track Review Rivers
by James Nadal
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Heads & Tales Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Heads & Tales Volume 2
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!