152

Fred Randolph: Learning Curve

By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Randolph: Learning Curve Fred Randolph's Learning Curve is heavy on tribute songs. The bassist/composer pays homage to Michael Brecker, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and pianist Art Hirahara, who joins him on the disc. But while Randolph does manage to suggest a Brecker Brothers tune, an aggressive yet catchy Mingus number and a journey into Trane's spiritual side, the real joys of this album have little to do with tributes.

The collaborative work of trumpeter Don Beck and tenor saxophonist Rob Roth is at the heart of the disc's success. Blending beautifully when playing together and delivering effortless, intriguing solos on their own, Beck and Roth quietly dominate Learning Curve. One of the album's highlights is "Churchy Tune," which brings Beck and Roth's connection to the fore and also features a Hammond organ solo by Michael Bluestein that manages to both embrace and expand the traditional sound of the organ in the bluesy church tradition.

Randolph's own skills are best demonstrated on "Secret Garden," the only track on which he plays fretless bass. His funky vibe is brought to the forefront of this upbeat number and works well with the shiny tone of soprano saxophonist Mike Zilber. Beck and Roth sit this one out, which changes the dynamic, but "Secret Garden" is still a standout tune.

The disc closes with "Pua Lilia," a traditional Hawaiian song performed as a duet by Randolph and Hirahara. It seems an odd ending to a disc of originals performed by a larger ensemble, but the lyrical piece gives Randolph another opportunity to shine. The piece brings Learning Curve to a satisfying end.


Track Listing: 1. I Wonder Why (for Michael Brecker) 2. Windward Side 3. Churchy Tune 4. Learning Curve 5. The Longest Time 6. Secret Garden 7. A's Vamp (for Art Hirahara) 8. In Honor of (for Charles Mingus) 9. Homage to Trane (for John Coltrane) 10. Nature of the Beast 11. Pua Lilia (Traditional Hawaiian)

Personnel: Fred Randolph: acoustic fretless bass, acoustic bass; Art Hirahara: acoustic piano; Tim Bulkley: drums, rain stick; Rob Roth: tenor sax; Don Beck: trumpet; Mike Zilber: soprano sax; Michael Bluestein: Hammond organ; Bryan Bowman: tabla; Michaelle Goerlitz: percussion

Title: Learning Curve | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Creative Spirit Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Billows Of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017

Smart Advertising!

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