Maybe the finest compliment you can bestow on an individual in our COVID-19 times is that he/she is a solid citizen, someone who takes it upon themselves to protect others from the dangers of this horrible virus. What does this have to do with the music of bassist/bandleader Dave Young? First, it is fundamental that all great jazz is built upon the foundation of a timekeeping bassist. Second, as evidenced by Young's Ides Of March, his solid hand upon the bass safeguards the musical tradition upon which our jazz community culture is built. Nevertheless the music also acts as a superspreader of good vibes.
Of the nine compositions presented, four are by Herbie Hancock, two from Young, and one each by Lee Morgan, George Gershwin, and Danish pianist Niels Lan Doky. Young expands upon his previous release, the trio recording Trouble in Mind (Modica Music, 2019), by adding guitarist Reg Schwager making a satisfying and balanced quartet. His soloing and that of trumpeter Kevin Turcotte on the opener "Dolphin Dance" make for a leisurely and well-furnished encounter. With Young at the helm, the Hancock compositions feel familiar without sounding hackneyed. The tug of "Riot" and the sharpness of "One Finger Snap" are credited to the flash of veteran drummer Terry Clarke, which enables the three other members to solo within a secure space. This freedom or safety, is the hallmark of the recording, evidenced by Young's original compositions. With "Ides Of March," we travel safely through several time signatures and "Forty Five Degrees" digs in like a mid-1960s Blue Note jukebox hit. Kudos to this quartet of solid jazz citizens.
Dolphin Dance; Speedball; Speak Like A Child; One Finger Snap; Riot; My Man’s Gone Now; Ides Of March; The Target; Forty Five Degrees.