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Jerry Bergonzi, Joey Calderazzo, Lars Danielsson, Jukkis Uotila Quartet: Fast Company

C. Michael Bailey By

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Talent Abounds. Fast Company resulted from the meeting of North (Scandinavian) and West (American). This band began as a Scandinavian jazz tour featuring American Tenorist Jerry Bergonzi and Pianist Joey Calderazzo coupled with Finnish Drummer Jukkis Uotila and Danish Bassist Lars Danielsson. Bergonzi and Calderazzo have recorded widely for major labels in the States while Jukkis Uotila is considered one of the most promising jazz composers on the Finnish scene today. Danielsson can boast having worked with the likes of David Liebman and Joe Henderson. A heady crowd indeed.

Catch-22. That is why I was so disappointed in this current disc. This is a competent ensemble that, while they come close to cohesion, just never quite click. Uotila is indeed a fine drummer in the Tony Williams mold, muscular and multirhythmic. But he often overwhelms the remainder of the ensemble who them overcompensate, creating a vicious cycle resulting in the excess of Post Bop, sounding like Free Jazz.

To the credit of Fast Company and acknowledging the mote in this critic's eye, this music is not my cup of tea. I enjoy a great deal of Post-bop modeled after the second great Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s. The music on this disc appealed a great deal to a collection of my friends who are fans of Ornette Coleman and late John Coltrane. I told them to listen to this and knock yourself out, because this is a disc for you (not to imply that Fast Company is as badly behaved as any late Coltrane, no offense intended). So there will be many listeners that will enjoy this disc a great deal. I am only here to warn those readers whose listening sensibilities are similar to mine: listen at your own risk.

Track Listing: The Lag, Loud-zee, Echoes, Not Afraid Of

Personnel: Jerry Bergonzi: Tenor Saxophone; Joey Calderazzo: Piano; Lars Danielsson: Bass, Jukkis Uotila: Drums.

Title: Fast Company | Year Released: 1999

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