144

Jerry Weldon-Michael Karn Quintet: Head to Head

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
There's something magical about the idea of dueling tenor saxophones that has kept it a popular commodity for many years now. Historically, the first memorable pairing was that of Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray. Then, we had Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, and let's not forget that incendiary duo of Johnny Griffin and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis! Now you can add a modern day equivalent in the likes of tenor men Jerry Weldon and Michael Karn. While certainly not yet household names, both players have established reputations and bring something fresh to the mainstream tradition. Karn, a student of Joe Lovano's, has worked with a number of New York mainstays including organist Charles Earland, while Weldon studied at Rutgers and has recently been heard in Jack McDuff's combo.

Like the best duos, Weldon and Karn share enough differences in sound and approach to provide the contrast needed for an engaging listen. The former has a beefy sound that has a swagger akin to players of the swing era, while the latter possesses that high-register cry that marks such modern players as Lovano and Michael Brecker. The rhythm section that rounds out the group is made up of first-call players. Bruce Barth is one of the few pianists of his generation with that uncanny ability to play just the right thing that will get everyone going, be it a mainstream gig or the avant-garde. And by now it should be known that bassist Peter Washington and drummer Billy Drummond are two of the greatest jazz musicians of this or any era in jazz.

The festivities get underway with Weldon's "Captain Morgan", a catchy number that recalls the up tempo romps of Lockjaw and Griffin. Karn's "Big 'D'" has hints of "Gingerbread Boy" with its stop-time passages and it serves as a perfect springboard to some inspired solos. Aside from one other original apiece from Karn and Weldon, the program is filled out with a choice selection of well- arranged standards, including a solo ballad performance from each tenor man. A brisk "Ko-Ko" wraps up an undeniably swinging and pleasurable date that, like a comfortable and well-worn shirt, will surely become an old favorite.

Track Listing: Captain Morgan, Sweet and Lovely, Who Can I Turn To, Big 'D', Late Last Summer, All the Way, Ow, Far East, If Ever I Would Leave You, Ko-Ko (66:42)

Personnel: Jerry Weldon- tenor saxophone, Michael Karn- tenor saxophone, Bruce Barth- piano, Peter Washington- bass, Billy Drummond- drums

| Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette" CD/LP/Track Review Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 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!