237

Gary Smulyan: Hidden Treasures

Greg Thomas By

Sign in to view read count
Gary Smulyan: Hidden Treasures Hidden Treasures smokes from the very first cut. Joined here by bassist Christian McBride and drummer Billy Drummond, Gary Smulyan makes a major statement with every new release. He eschewed smaltz for hard swing on Gary Smulyan with Strings. On Blues Suite he played fiery baritone sax with a brass section. He led a straight-ahead, take-no-prisoners quintet on The Real Deal.

On Hidden Treasures his pared-down ensemble produces such a plethora of rhythmic and harmonic colors that a piano isn't missed. The gritty might of Smulyan's blowing is like a blast of coffee chased by McBride's brown sugar arco and pizzicato flights and Drummond's smooth chocolate milk accompaniment, stirring a fine blend on sticks and brushes throughout.

Their groove on Quincy Jones' "Wail Bait" strolls the tempo a notch lower than the high-velocity opener. McBride shares the melody line with Smulyan on "Bud's Idea" with striking ease. "A Woman Always Understands" is a brief romantic reverie; Phil Woods' "House of Chan" is a showcase yet again for McBride's mastery, finding Smulyan spurred by breaks and Drummond's bebop bombs.

On Donald Byrd's "Omicron," the three players trade inspired eights, fours and twos. The bossa "A Rose for Wray" by Harold Vick has Smulyan in the mood with a sly embedded quote of "I Love You." Judicious use of space is the place on Jim McNeely's unorthodox "Off the Cuff." Tadd Dameron's "Jahbero," based on the "All the Things You Are" changes, takes the trio right back into the pocket.

John Coltrane's "Fifth House" rounds out a select set of tunes that are hidden treasures by virtue of their relative obscurity. But they've found a home on this top-flight recording by Smulyan. You may find that each song has an air of familiarity, since each is actually based on a better-known composition.


Track Listing: Stretch in F; Wail Bait; Bud's Idea; A Woman Always Understands; House of Chan; Omicron; A Rose for Wray; Off the Cuff; Jahbero; Fifth House.

Personnel: Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Christian McBride: bass; Billy Drummond: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Reservoir Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Live In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Instant Oats" CD/LP/Track Review Instant Oats
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Buena Vista Social Club" CD/LP/Track Review Buena Vista Social Club
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 19, 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!