Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

241

Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out

By

Sign in to view read count
Burton Greene/Roy Campbell Quartet: Isms Out Free jazz pioneer pianist Burton Greene and trumpeter Roy Campbell front this deeply satisfying CIMP release. The disc has an eclectic feel, striking a nearly ideal balance between free improvisation and more structured jazz, while also drawing on some notable world music influences. Venerable drummer Lou Grassi and bassist Adam Lane round out the quartet and provide some enjoyable solos as well as solid support for the leaders. The album is primarily Greene's project, as he provides most of the arrangements and two original compositions—as well as the liner notes—but Campbell's two original compositions and commanding solo presence amply justify the co-leader credit.

The most notable track is probably the sprawling, majestic "Carnival of Mother Kali, arranged by Greene from a composition by the Indian virtuoso Ali Akbar Khan. Beginning with a lengthy ruminative piano introduction over bowed bass and airy percussion, the piece kicks into gear with a rhythmic section of shifting modes that leads into powerful, freer solos from Greene and Lane before the head returns, only to dissolve quietly away into a brief piano coda.

The only drawback is that "Carnival is done as a trio number, meaning we are temporarily deprived of Roy Campbell's trumpet playing, which elsewhere provides for much energy and excitement on the album. Campbell's brittle tone frequently sounds as if it's about to crack—and does in a few spots—which is unsettling at first, but his solos are exhilarating and certainly leave no doubts about his technical command of the instrument. His compositions are strong as well, particularly the lilting "Booker's Lament, an infectiously catchy tribute to Booker Little.

Unfortunately Campbell sounds a bit "under-recorded in a few more places than the one Greene cops to in the liner notes, a product of CIMP's somewhat unorthodox philosophy of recording to only two tracks, meaning that the relative volumes of different instruments can't be adjusted later in the mix. For the most part this seems to work well, leading, as intended, to a more immediate, live feel; but the obvious drawbacks do crop up in spots, and apparently led to the scuttling of one track entirely.

Liner notes by producer Bob Rusch and engineer Marc Rusch, as well as Greene himself, combine to give an interesting inside look at the technical difficulties of a session like this, as well as a few hints at the interpersonal ones. But hopefully none of that will dissuade this group from recording again, because so much of what results here is stellar.


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: 2004 | Record Label: CIMP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks" CD/LP/Track Review Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Mediterrana" CD/LP/Track Review Mediterrana
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Dream Keeper" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Keeper
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "End Of Seas" CD/LP/Track Review End Of Seas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!