211

Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out Comebacks have a vexing tendency to fizzle and self-combust. The aged player who can work his or her way back from the brink of anonymity to the limelight is a fortunate one indeed. Witness altoist Jemeel Moondoc, who made strong recouping strides at the cusp of the new millennium, only to see the gleam of his relative celebrity flicker and wane once again. The story is still shaking out on Henry Grimes. With luck, the bassist's rejuvenated cachet will last for the long haul. Both of these men are in the vocation for something other than notoriety or fiscal reward. Each does what he does for the love of the music. Everything else is icing on the pastry. It's a lesson that Burton Greene knows well and a reason why his activities operate beyond the vagaries of fame and critical consideration.

Greene's own rebounds from hiatus have undergone several incarnations; ask him and he'll probably tell you he never really left. He currently seems to be the midst of another renaissance with a handful of releases of recent vintage on CIMP, Bvhaast, and Drimala. This session showcases flirtations with post bop modalities and structures, lifting out of the CIMP stereotype of free jazz blowing (itself a faulty summary conjecture) and landing in a very accessible field of lyrical, melody-driven expression. Occasional forays into freer forms also arise and the quartet evinces versatility on either side of the arbitrary continuum. The ban on "isms" described by the title may be figurative considering their non-tangible nature, but the avoidance of constrictive forces other than those agreed on by consensus results in a healthy body politic for the band.

Campbell thrives, especially in the hard bop-angled sections, stamping out boisterous smears and slurs that betray his jovial Freddie Hubbard influence. Lane's adroitly-pitched anchoring bass traffics in jovial stops and slaps on the tension-filled "Careful,'" a Jim Hall tune that in the rendering here recalls the moody interlocking compositions of drummer Joe Chambers at circa-'60s Blue Note. His stout strings always seem to insert themselves at the right time and place, fleshing out without adding extra weight. Grassi also sounds very comfortable, favoring his cymbals, especially the ride and showing a nimble chattery touch with his sticks. Finally, there's Greene, the erstwhile ringleader (despite the joint marquee billing). Engineer Marc Rusch, surmounts what in the past have been occasional foibles of the Canton recital recording space and manages to capture an encompassing balance between the four.

Of the other compositions "Carnival of Mother Kali,'" a sectional Carnatic-tinged trio meditation sans Campbell that carries connotations of the Keith Jarrett trio at its most adventurous, and "Angels of Sirius" an epic, largely improvised excursion, are standouts. A few points arise where ensemble entries after solos wobble, sounding a shade hesitant, but overall the quartet cuts a tight swathe. Greene's overarching ambivalence to press-garnered plaudits is refreshing. Even so, I'll bet encomiums will be forthcoming as more writers and listeners become acquainted with this estimable album.


Track Listing: Bookers Lament; Careful; Carnival of Mother Kali; Brother Yusef; Burtys Boudoir Bump... Bop; Angels of Sirius; Epilogue.

Personnel: Burton Greene: piano; Roy Campbell: trumpets; Adam Lane: bass; Lou Grassi: drums. Recorded: June 29, 2002, Canton, NY.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Flawless Dust" CD/LP/Track Review Flawless Dust
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Second Impression" CD/LP/Track Review Second Impression
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Juggling Kukla" CD/LP/Track Review Juggling Kukla
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!