430

Joe Locke: Force of Four

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Locke: Force of Four Certain sounds are so easy to love: the blurry whine of a muted trumpet, the beefy growl of a robust tenor saxophone, the rich, frictional cry of the cello, and the buoyant, sustained ring of a mallet hitting a key on a vibraphone.

Vibraphonist Joe Locke's profile seems to have risen on a sharp angle since Live in Seattle (Origin Records, 2006), a CD that found its way onto several critic's top ten of the year lists. Since then he has offered up Live at JazzBaltica (MaxJazz, 2006) and Sticks and Strings (Music Eyes, 2007), proving that his excellence was no one-off affair.

Force of Four finds Locke in the company of a crack quartet—his vibraphone and a piano trio—offering up perhaps his finest recording to date. And though the instrumental make-up is the same as that of the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ), Locke and company are more about energy and forward momentum and grooves than they are about a chamber atmosphere.

"Like Joe" is a bouncy tribute to tenor titan Joe Henderson that features seamless piano/vibes interplay. It's easy to think that the two instruments could bump heads and step on each other's toes, but that's never the case on this disc. "Ruminations" has a pensive atmosphere and drifting quality, and a sublime quartet weave of sound.

"No Moe," from the pen of Sonny Rollins, is tight groove that brings in one of the album's two guests, trumpeter Thomas Marriott, playing a beautiful muted horn. "Alpha Punk" and "Blue November" feature tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery—the former an energetic romp that brings the Yellowjackets sound to mind, the latter a relaxed dark-toned piece of introspective beauty.

Joe Locke might just be this generation's Milt Jackson. And with Force of Four he might be headed to the year's top ten lists again.


Track Listing: Like Joe; Ruminations; Ricky's Tune; No Moe; Available in Blue; Alpha Punk; Laura; Blue November.

Personnel: Joe Locke: vibes; Robert Rodriguez: piano; Johnathan Blake: drums; Ricardo Rodriguez: bass; Wayne Escoffery: tenor sax (6, 8); Thomas Marriott: trumpet (4).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
piano
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Bobby Hutcherson Bobby Hutcherson
vibraphone
Mike Mainieri Mike Mainieri
vibraphone
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson
vibraphone
Ralph Towner Ralph Towner
guitar
Astor Piazzolla Astor Piazzolla
bandoneon
Stefon Harris Stefon Harris
vibraphone
Teddy Charles Teddy Charles
vibraphone
Steve Nelson Steve Nelson
vibraphone

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited 1, Live at Catalina's
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Pastures" CD/LP/Track Review Pastures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "D-Stringz" CD/LP/Track Review D-Stringz
by James Nadal
Published: February 25, 2016
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!