345

Joe Locke: Force of Four

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Locke: Force of Four Joe Locke has emerged as one of the dominant jazz vibraphonists in recent years, releasing several outstanding CDs with various musical partners. Force of Four is no exception, a tight post-bop session with a new quartet: pianist Robert Rodriguez, bassist Ricardo Rodriguez and drummer Johnathan Blake.

The pianist contributed "Like Joe," a tribute to Joe Henderson, which incorporates rapid-fire lines with a Latin undercurrent reminiscent of the late tenor saxophonist. Locke's understated "Available in Blue" is an introspective ballad that proves captivating, while his tense, rockish "Alpha Punk" utilizes electric piano and adds guest tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. Ricardo Rodriguez penned the shimmering Latin-flavored "Ricky's Tune," which quickly settles into a breezy groove. Sonny Rollins' "No Moe" (which the saxophone icon recorded with the Modern Jazz Quartet) is a bit of an obscurity, but Locke's sassy arrangement reconfigures it in a more contemporary setting, adding guest trumpeter Thomas Marriott.

The leader's unusual scoring of the standard "Laura" has the band playing a wild vamp behind him as he sticks close to the melody. The electric piano and Escoffery both return for "Blue November," a playful, slightly funky piece by vibraphonist Christos Rafalides, a student of Locke's who has both performed and recorded an excellent duo album with his former teacher. Locke continues to stretch the boundaries of the vibraphone with this rewarding session, which should be a high atop any post-bop fan's Christmas list.

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).

Title: Force of Four | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Origin Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Altadena" CD/LP/Track Review Altadena
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Repeater" CD/LP/Track Review Repeater
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "The Best of Big Star" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Big Star
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Live! Rancho Nicasio" CD/LP/Track Review Live! Rancho Nicasio
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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