Javier Vercher is a young, prodigiously gifted Spanish saxophonist who first made an impact as a member of the Oscar Penas Quintet on the 2004 CD Astronautus. Now, on Introducing The Javier Vercher Trio (also on Fresh Sound New Talent), Vercher justifies the promise he showed earlier. With an audacious mixture of swinging post bop and powerful free playing, Vercher has created a debut of considerable impact.
On the opening track, Ornette Coleman's hip tune "Bird Food," Vercher cooks with a strutting, swaggering swing, punctuated by unpredictable uses of devices drawn from free music. He utilizes a similar approach on the straight-ahead "Norman." On the rubato ballad "Balada de Alfredo," Vercher recalls the intensity of Coltrane and Ayler, yet never detracting from his warm, personal tone.
The rhythm section is tight and together, as is required on a trio venture like this one. On the other hand, perhaps because Vercher is young and adventurous, he falters now and then. On "Bird Food," it sounds like he bobbles the closing theme statement a little bit. On "L'Euridice," his entrance, built around a sub-tone, is so striking that he spends a little too much time trying to catch up with himself. (It's a good solo nonetheless.)
But these are minor considerations. Throughout, Vercher and his sidemen play consistantly rewarding music. Young, brilliant pianist Robert Glasper makes two fine guest appearances and is especially rewarding on the swinging waltz "L'Euridice." Javier Vercher is already a major new voice, and hopefully he'll continue to build on the foundation he has started with this fine introduction.
Track Listing: Bird Food, Pollack Springs, Balada de Alfredo, L'Euridice, Pollack Springs-Duet, Norman, Orfeo, Entrance Door.
Personnel: Javier Vercher, tenor saxophone; Chris Higgins, bass; Brannen Temple, drums; Robert Glasper, piano
(tracks 4 & 7); Rakalam Bob Moses, drums (tracks 2 & 8).
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr. Garner, I love playing the piano... is there any advice you could give me?'' He hesitated, then looked back at me and said, Keep playin' and don't stop!'' That was great advice because at 60 years old, I'm still playin' and haven't stopped!