169

Grant Stewart: In the Still of the Night

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Grant Stewart has an athletic able-bodied style on tenor that can best be described as muscular. It is no surprise that he lists Sonny Rollins as a major influence but what makes him a standout in the large crowd of hard bop tenorists is his ability to sprint across the keys without sacrificing an ounce of beef. He can be found often headlining shows at Smalls in New York and impressing with his rare combination of speed and power.

In the Still of the Night, his first date as a Sharp Nine leader, has him striking a home with the label's superb "house rhythm section of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Joe Farnsworth. These guys can swing with the finest and are able to drive players less adept than Stewart to new levels. Here the results, on tunes like the Cole Porter title cut, reach hard bop heaven.

Rounding out this quartet is another Sharp Nine stable mate (and Sal Mosca student), pianist Tardo Hammer, who is no slouch himself in the fleetness and muscle department. Although "Autumn in New York and Billy Strayhorn's stunning ballad "Lush Life are noticeably smoky respites and Monk's "Work is recast with a sweet tenor/piano voicing, the meat of this session is in Stewart's ability to bop at all speeds in the context of a program of standards. The Richard Rodgers closer "Loads of Love, an inventive version of Lerner & Loewe's "If Ever I Would Leave You and the Bacharach & David chestnut "Wives and Lovers display a foursome that are in control of their Instruments' subtleties while producing a commanding sound.

Expertly recorded and mic'd, Farnsworth's cymbal work rings true and the enormity of Stewart's sound is captured in toto for an album that should please the most discerning of bopophiles.


Track Listing: In the Still of the Night; Theme for Ernie; Wives and Lovers; Autumn in New York; If Ever I Would Leave You; Work; Lush Life; Loads of Love.

Personnel: Grant Stewart: tenor saxophone; Tardo Hammer: piano; Peter Washington: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Title: In the Still of the Night | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sharp Nine Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "The Behemoth" CD/LP/Track Review The Behemoth
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "A Chicken in a Bottle" CD/LP/Track Review A Chicken in a Bottle
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "On Parade In Parede" CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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