195

Joshua Bayer: Lines and Grooves

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Joshua Bayer: Lines and Grooves It's sort of retrograde—or perhaps it's a loop. The most exciting and innovative recordings in jazz are coming out on small labels these days. Just like in the early days of recorded jazz, small independent labels are bringing out the real sounds. Case in point: Jazzheads' new release from bassist/composer Joshua Bayer.

Lines and Grooves is a solidly mainstream affair, with the sax out in front of the rhythm section. It features eight Bayer originals that pay their respects to some of jazz's greats: Cedar Walton, Oliver Nelson, Miles, Bill Evans. Every year you'll hear two or three CDs with this line-up and this mainstream feeling—usually, interestingly, with relative unknowns—that just knock your socks off and jostle for position in those year-end top ten lists. This is one of them. It's got a clean, crisp, infectious sound, marvelous compositions, and a jewel of a cover (Gerswhin). The sax guy, Marty Nau, stands out front with a stingingly sweet sound, and within the confines of the groove he can be quite the freewheeling and inventive soloist.

The disc opens with the shining "J Cess," with keyboardist Bob Sykes leaning on the notes on his Fender Rhodes, giving things a bit more sustaining power than usual, sort of an organ- player's approach behind Nau.

"Tre," "Line" and "Third Line" have crisp newness to their sound, snappy. This is a tight yet inventive band playing some fine compositions.

And then there's the centerpiece: Gershwin's "Prelude." Beyond beautiful. Lines and Grooves is a start-to-finish solid (beyond solid) set of sounds; but this Gershwin fellow—in the hands of Bayer and company—deserves the repeat button treatment. Spare and gorgeous, Bayer's bass work here is a vibrant, throbbing undercurrent. And then there's "Blues for Now"; and I don't know if it's the composition or Marty Nau's sax approach, but I feel the ghost of Charlie Parker hanging around.

With so many small labels putting out the fine sounds, it's easy to let some great ones get by. Don't let that happen with Joshua Bayer's Lines and Grooves. Classic music by a first rate band.

www.joshuabayer.com

Track Listing: J Cess, Tre, Line, Third Line, Prelude, Blues for Now, Three for Mr. Evans, Product of Block, Second Line

Personnel: Johusa Bayer, bass; Luther Gray, drums; Marty Nau, sax; Bob Sykes, piano and Rhodes

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Jazzheads | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Hank Mobley" CD/LP/Track Review Hank Mobley
by Greg Simmons
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "New York Connections" CD/LP/Track Review New York Connections
by David A. Orthmann
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!