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Drummer Charli Persip is a musician who can intimate that he's done it all via his rather storied jazz legacy. He's performed with legendary bop pianist, composer, and arranger Tadd Dameron amid stints with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and vocalist Billy Eckstein along with other jazz icons too numerous in scope to cite here. On the band's 2008 and fourth release overall, Intrinsic Evolution, Persip surges forward with self-assurance and is unequivocally adept with the virtues of large ensemble drumming. Persip's unit conveys a wham-bam type trajectory, largely due to the dynamic horns arrangements, that are often accelerated by a power-packed punch during the bulk of this rapidly moving gala.
They launch the proceedings with trombonist James Zeller's medium-tempo swing vamp "Double Visions," where the soloists reinvent the main theme while enjoying a smooth sailing current set down by Persip and bassist Saadi Zain. No doubt about it, the drummer is a mover and shaker. He knows when to lower the pitch and then drop a few bombs when kicking matters into overdrive.
Firmed up by the hornists' zesty choruses, the band offers the best of many musical worlds as they construct head charts upon ascending motifs and gleaming melodies. It's a divergent set, also featuring Chelsea Crowe's dreamy vocals atop a sultry vibe during the teary-eyed classic, "Save Your Love." And in other regions of the album, Persip peppers the ensemble into cascading jazz-rock grooves, intermittently designed with polytonal and high-flying mini-motifs.
Persip executes a massive polyrhythmic solo on "Meantime," while vocalist Eric Hoffman gives the standard ballad "Impossible Dream" a modern uplift. Persip reformulates the tried and true into a thoroughly happening program, energized with controlled firepower and spiced with radiant eloquence as he assertively elevates core components of the classic big band format into a new age type paradigm.
Track Listing: Double Visions; Intrinsic Evolution; Punjab; Save Your Love; Meantime; God Bless The Child; Impossible Dream; Return Of The Prodigal; Feelin' No Evil.
Personnel: Charli Persip: drums; Saadi Zain: bass; James Gordon Williams: piano;
Rick Henley: trumpet; Nabate Isles: trumpet; Sharif Kales: trumpet; Ambrose Jackson: trumpet; Eric Hoffman: trombone; Rick Parker: trombone; James Zeller: trombone; Mike Guilford: tuba; Meilana Gillard: tenor sax, flute; Rob Lee: tenor sax, flute; Ian Young: alto sax, flute; Mike McGarril: alto sax, flute; Erwin Snow: baritone sax; Chelsea Crowe: vocals; Eric Hoffman: vocals.
Year Released: 2008
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Big Band
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.