149

Bill Cunliffe/Gary Foster: It's About Love

By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Cunliffe/Gary Foster: It's About Love This album is a second volume presenting the music of composer Reed Kotler, following Bobby Shew-Gary Foster and Friends Play the Music of Reed Kotler (2002). It's About Love resumes with 13 songs as played by Gary Foster, Bill Cunliffe, Jeff D'Angelo and Tim Pleasant. Foster is one of Los Angeles' best kept secrets. I've heard him over the past 25 years on many Concord records and on smaller labels but rarely leading his own group. Cunliffe has been receiving increasing praise for his compositional, arranging skills and piano work over the recent past. Last year's How My Heart Sings was one of the most impressive series of arrangements of 2003.

I like to compare Gary Foster to the late Paul Desmond. Of course, they really don't sound alike (although on "Nine Steps" and "I Can't Forget," Foster gets pretty close). But like the late alto player, Foster plays a melody and solo with the same sense of cool detachment with perfect economy and beauty that makes the most of a good melody. The album begins with an attractive bossa nova, "At the End of the Day," on tenor sax, and continues in the same mode on "I've Been Thinking of You Lately" on alto. Both of these tunes set the stage for Kotler's compositions. They're all good examples of lyrical melody lines and, in these two cases, call out for awaiting vocal interpretations.

In the liner notes Kotler offers interesting origins of the compositions based upon the chord changes of jazz standards, and "Nine Steps" is a good example, based upon the changes of Coltrane's "Giant Steps." It starts off as a ballad, changes tempo, and at the finish line returns to a slower pace. Likewise, other compositions are based upon Sonny Rollins' "Doxy," Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream," Ray Brown's "Gravy Waltz," and the standard "Unforgettable."

In addition to Foster's inspired work, almost entirely on alto sax, Cunliffe gets several opportunities to show his prowess at the keyboards. On "Spring is Near" he contributes a tasty solo that is both melodic and energetic. D'Angelo, who is Cunliffe's working bassist, gets an impressive solo on "Cool Walk" and Tim Pleasant contributes throughout with percussive support. The album ends with a pensive "Forever." Torii Records, now only three releases old, has a good thing going.

Track Listing: At the End of the Day, I've Been Thinking of You Lately, Where Do I Go From Here?, Nine Steps, I Can't Forget, Spring is Near, Thank You Lord,Amen!, Song for Bill C., Cool Walk, Love is in the Air, Thoughts of You, Duck's Tune, Forever.

Personnel: Gary Foster, tenor and alto sax; Bill Cunliffe, piano and arrangements; Jeff D'Angelo,bass; Tim Pleasant,drums

Title: It's About Love | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Torii Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Departure CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read With You In Mind CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Doug Collette
Published: July 26, 2017
Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "My Head Is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Lea Áigi" CD/LP/Track Review Lea Áigi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Uptown Down" CD/LP/Track Review Uptown Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Fractured Pop" CD/LP/Track Review Fractured Pop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Reciprocity" CD/LP/Track Review Reciprocity
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Day By Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day By Day
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 16, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!