Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

New York Standards Quartet: Heaven Steps To Seven

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
The three constant principals in this remarkable quartet are joined for this album by NY-resident Ugonna Okegwo on double bass. The quartet has been in existence for over a decade now and their first album was recorded in 2007 and released in 2008. The punningly titled Heaven Steps To Seven is the quartet's seventh album to date and the follow-up to Sleight Of Hand (Whirlwind, 2017).

Half way through Charlie Parker's "Cheryl" the piece is transformed, almost magically, into something completely different, and within its core, seamlessly transmuting from be-bop to modal, with the outro head an amalgamation of the two forms. Horace Silver's ballad "Peace" is given the lightest of touches by the quartet, faithfully reinventing the standard.

"If I Should Lose You" gives the lie to the assumption that the NYSQ is "merely" a standards ensemble. This is patently wrong since everything they touch turns to musical gold. Tim Armacost's soaring soprano lines and Gene Jackson's sensitively powerful drumming could easily be compared with Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams in Miles Davis's most famous quintet. This is even more noticeable on the quartet's interpretation of Herbie Hancock's timeless classic "Eye Of The Hurricane." David Berkman's free-flowing piano runs emulate the light touches of the maestro without recourse to stylistic plagiarism. Much the same alchemical process is found on the deconstruction of Cole Porter's "I Love You," Armacost's tenor snaking around and way beyond the melody. It may have been said before but the NYSQ don't merely revive these standards, they breathe new life into them.

Track Listing: Tonight; Cheryl; Peace; If I Should Lose You; Every Time We Say Goodbye; I Love You; I'll Keep Loving You; Eye of the Hurricane.

Personnel: Tim Armacost: tenor & soprano saxophones; David Berkman: piano; Ugonna Okegwo: double bass; Gene Jackson: drums.

Title: Heaven Steps To Seven | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Cheryl

Cheryl

New York Standards Quartet
Heaven Steps To Seven

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Heaven Steps To Seven

Heaven Steps To Seven

Whirlwind Recordings
2018

buy
 

Unstandard

Challenge Records
2012

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr28Sun
New York Standards Quartet
Murrys
Columbia, MO
$28
Apr28Sun
New York Standards Quartet
Murrys
Columbia, MO
$28

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard Album Reviews
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
By Mark Sullivan
January 16, 2019
Read SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk Album Reviews
SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk
By Doug Collette
January 16, 2019
Read Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967 Album Reviews
Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967
By Mike Jurkovic
January 16, 2019
Read Hydro 2 Album Reviews
Hydro 2
By Vitalijus Gailius
January 16, 2019
Read Heritage Album Reviews
Heritage
By Tyran Grillo
January 15, 2019
Read Do Not Be Afraid Album Reviews
Do Not Be Afraid
By Gareth Thompson
January 15, 2019
Read Fairgrounds Album Reviews
Fairgrounds
By Roger Farbey
January 15, 2019

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/chunks/overlay/aaj-sitemap.php on line 5