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Last year, Seattle saxophonist Steve Griggs convinced legendary drummer Elvin Jones to interrupt his West Coast tour to record a date with an ensemble of local musicians. Volume one of the two scheduled releases is more than a ‘gosh gee look who’s here’ recording. Griggs, the producer/arranger and label record label entrepreneur represents himself well on the tenor saxophone, as does a very capable band. Petersen, Thomas, and Sparks can also be heard on the guitarist’s excellent date Jazz Disciples (Passage Records). Favoring an early/mid period Coltrane sound, Griggs and ensemble maintain a beautiful sound throughout, perhaps because it was recorded the old fashioned way: one or two takes utilizing analog tapes. Of the nine tracks, eight are Griggs originals plus Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood.” But enough about this very capable band, (I would gladly become a groupie if I lived in Seattle) what about Elvin? Brother to Thad and Hank, son of Detroit and the force behind the most important band in modern jazz, at age seventy-one still can move and groove better than any drummer working today. You cannot help following the drummer throughout this recording. His beat once powered John Coltrane’s quartet in the sixties, now Elvin’s energy is all his own. If you cannot catch him live, this recording is a great substitute.
Track List:Jones For Elvin; You’re The Berries; Healing; Flora; Sparks; In A Sentimental Mood; Milo’s Mellifluous Milieu; Claudia; Jay’s Maze.
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me. Try as I might, I was never able to achieve a high enough level of competency to perform at the level I was first and subsequently exposed to. Regardless, I was hooked on jazz and remain so to this day.