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Originally released on “Inner City Records” in 1978, this reissue sounds as fresh and cutting-edge as just about anything that resembles contemporary mainstream/progressive jazz! Pianist, Richard Sussman sports a very impressive resume; evidenced by his work with “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” Buddy Rich, pop vocalist, Carly Simon, and others. Besides, he also composed a portion to the classic film, “Midnight Cowboy”. Here, the pianist enlists the tight rhythm section of bassist, Mike Richmond and drummer, Jeff Williams. However, we also get to hear the nascent talents of trumpeter, Tom Harrell, and tenor saxophonists, Larry Schneider and Jerry Bergonzi on this altogether radiantly recorded production.
Marked by Sussman’s craftily fabricated compositions and arrangements, this ensemble melds punchy horn charts with sweet melodies and buoyantly swinging rhythms witnessed on the opener, “Lady Of The Lake.” Whereas, on “Free Fall,” Williams sets the stage with a sweeping groove followed by Harrell’s blistering trumpet solo, while Schneider joins the trumpeter for heated, Bop-like choruses. Yet, the soloists alter the often-torrid flow via pert moments of free-jazz style intensity, although Sussman energizes the band into newfound territory thanks to his swirling arpeggios and fluid two-handed attack. The pianist also provides an intro to “Street Fair,” as the band subsequently kicks in a bustling groove, enhanced by Schneider (performing on flute) and Harrell’s softly stated choruses amid a rather jovial climate. Furthermore, the musicians commingle a straight four-rock pulse with Sussman’s understated R&B voicings and a simmering swing vamp on the closer, “Tiahuanaco.” Folks, small ensemble jazz doesn’t get much finer than this! Strongly recommended.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...