178

Lonnie Plaxico: Live at the 5:01 Jazz Bar

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Lonnie Plaxico: Live at the 5:01 Jazz Bar After a brief stint with Blue Note, Lonnie Plaxico quietly released this fine live date in 2002 on his own label, PlaxMusic. It consists of highlights of two sets he cut with his band (featuring trumpeter Alex Norris, tenorist Marcus Strickland, pianist George Colligan, and drummer Nat Townsley) earlier that year while at the 5:01 Jazz Bar in Columbus, Ohio.

The recording quality leaves something to be desired, but the disc compensates in the form of some of the most exciting ensemble jazz recorded live in recent memory. The music is simply bashin' from start thru finish; certainly the youngbloods on board have something to do with the high energy. So too of course though does the very frenetic, hyperfunkified nature of Lonnie Plaxico's music; laser-fire horn parts blast over rumbling ostinatos and the completely pungent drum fills of Nat Townsley (Zawinul Syndicate).

The tunes included on this live date read like a "best-of" from Lonnie's two previous records as a leader, Emergence (Savant, 2000) and Melange (Blue Note, 2001). Staple set pieces "Delusion" and "Red Light District" are executed with panache and a palpable take-no-prisoners attitude. Indeed, Lonnie's crew blows hard on each and every track, and if you could possibly fault anything here, it's that stretching out is a given—thereby three tracks on the record stretch over 10 minutes apiece.

Trumpeter Alex Norris is especially brilliant in his tight air-channel hijinx here. He crafts solos that have both serious "jazz" rhythmic conviction, and yet an almost baroque sense of articulation. Also worth note is Marcus Strickland, who does a most sincere justice to John Coltrane's styling of "Too Young to Go Steady" in a ballad feature. (Strickland evidently didn't know when he played his solo here that he was too young to be sounding this mature.)

Lonnie Plaxico has been leading his own band regularly since 2000, and—whether you like his music or not—it's undeniable that through his writing and selection of musicians he's developed a rather individualistic yet clearly jazz-indebted band sound. When so many musicians are content to play 4/ 4, bop 'n' standards all night long, this isn't something to take lightly. For fans of Plaxico's recent music, this is must-have stuff. The man himself has always maintained that his music is really more of a live phenomenon, and here that hypothesis is confirmed in grand style.

This record is a worthy companion to the Plaxico band's other two records but also holds up as one of the better live jazz records of the past year.

Visit Lonnie Plaxico and PlaxMusic on the web at www.lonnieplaxico.com


Track Listing: Red Light District; Emergence; Delusion; Too Young to Go Steady; Inner Voice; Squib Cakes

Personnel: Lonnie Plaxico- bass. Alex Norris- trumpet. Marcus Strickland- tenor. George Colligan- piano. Nathaniel Townsley- drums.

Title: Live at the 5:01 Jazz Bar | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: PlaxMusic


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

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 Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Into A Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into A Myth
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "You & I" CD/LP/Track Review You & I
by James Nadal
Published: June 4, 2017

Smart Advertising!

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