270

Alvin Queen: I Ain't Looking at You

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Alvin Queen is a virtual dynamo. On I Ain't Looking At You, he generates an explosive fusion of down-home blues and dynamic straight-ahead arrangements from his ensemble of young jazz stars.



Joining him are stratospheric trumpeter Terrell Stafford and creative Bird-influenced alto player Jesse Davis. Making sure the soulful quotient is high, guitarist Peter Bernstein and Hammond B-3 organist Mike LeDonne round out the quintet.

Queen got his start in the sixties, playing with stalwarts including Stanley Turrentine, Harry Edison and Charles Tolliver. He took up residence in Switzerland in the seventies, playing throughout Europe over the years with occasional trips to the States. This is his first U.S. release in a long while, and the nine selections consist of seven familiar blues-tinged tunes and two originals by LeDonne.

From the first track, Shirley Scott's groovy, Basie-like "There's Blues, the listener is hooked. The pulsating ensemble passages lead to solos backed by Queen and LeDonne's rocking rhythm.

Miles Davis' "Seven Steps to Heaven is the clincher, starting with a solo by Queen, who then rhythmically stitches together Davis' rapid-fire bursts and Stafford's virtuoso runs.

The title track features in-your-face funk—Horace Silver would be proud. As well, the group does more than justice with its version of Silver's "Nutsville, with Bernstein helping LeDonne to pull out the stops in a wall of sound.

LeDonne's mellow "Shirley's Song, a nod to organist Scott, provides Bernstein a solid solo opportunity. In a quiet mood, "Old Folks features the plaintive wail of Davis' alto, complementing Stafford's muted trumpet.

I Ain't Looking at You has "blues written all over it. On the final number, "Mellow Soul," just see if a jazz-blues fan, surrounded by growling trumpet, wailing sax and shouting organ, can keep from snapping fingers and head-bobbing in time.


Track Listing: There's Blues Everywhere; Seven Steps to Heaven; Contemplation; Queen's Beat; I Ain't Looking at You; Shirley's Song; Old Folks; Nutsville; Mellow Soul.

Personnel: Terrell Stafford: trumpet, Jesse Davis: alto sax, Mike LeDonne: Hammond B-3 organ, Peter Bernstein: guitar, Alvin Queen: drums.

Title: I Ain't Looking at You | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Enja/Justin Time


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "TajMo" CD/LP/Track Review TajMo
by James Nadal
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Illegal Crowns" CD/LP/Track Review Illegal Crowns
by John Sharpe
Published: December 10, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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