Percussionist Calhoun has hired most of Bobby Watson's Horizon quintet, but this session is not a case of Watson uncomfortably grimacing as a sideman in his own band. For one thing Calhoun's band has a more modern feel. As might be expected Watson is the strongest soloist, but he limits his contributions to playing, and he is careful not to steal the show. He plays tenor (instead of his usual alto) on a couple of cuts, giving the band a more classic sound. His tenor voice has less of an edge and owes something to the less extroverted pre-bop tradition.
Calhoun wrote most of the music, but Stafford, Evans, and Benitez also contributed arrangements. The tunes serve as worthy points of departure with the backgrounds of particular interest. Rhythm is Calhoun's main message, and he delivers it in a variety of flavors. His drum technique and time, reminiscent of later Tony Williams, are solid. He plays interesting rhythms, and he plays them well, but his soloing and accompanying are predictable and lick-bound at times. Unlike many other young drummers he does not overplay or indulge in pointless marathon solos.
The energy level is there with all participants bringing their 'A' games.
Dorita; Minority; Umoja; Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum; Dawn Of The Great Eastern Sun; Africa's Afternoon; Drum Hymn For Ana Marie Shorter; Dolphin Dance
Will Calhoun, drums, udu, wave drum; Bobby Watson, alto & tenor sax; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Orrin Evans, piano & keyboard; John Benitez, acoustic & electric bass http://www.halfnote.net
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.