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Rich Halley Quartet featuring Bobby Bradford: Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Grey Stones/Shards of Sky"

Prominent USA West Coast jazz artists, saxophonist Rich Halley and cornetist Bobby Bradford, disseminate a restless spirit, boosted by memorable compositions and compelling improvisational jaunts on this 2010 set. Bradford is a living legend via his affiliations with Ornette Coleman and long-running partnership with pioneering clarinetist John Carter. As anticipated, this band does not disappoint. Sparked by commodious passages, surging exchanges and invigorating free-bop sprees, Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival offers the complete package.

Halley leads a changeable game plan, with the musicians varying the pitch, altering tempos, and morphing grooves into semi-structured choruses. A major highlight is the fifteen-minute "Grey Stones/Shards of Sky," where the quartet executes a torrent of passionate exchanges to form a hugely entertaining panorama.

Bradford's concise lines initiate impressions of an avant-garde military parade atop drummer Carson Hailey's precision-oriented snare fills. The frontline also tosses in melodic intervals, laced with a few classical type segments, while Hailey's inventive solo offers an extension of the principal pulse and generates a new perspective to a suite-like composition.

Vibrant and loaded with unanticipated surprises, Halley's broad jazz vernacular and enviable chops help consummate a diverse program that yields several knockout blows.

Personnel: Rich Halley: tenor saxophone; Bobby Bradford: cornet; Clyde Reed: bass; Carson Halley: drums.

Title: Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Pine Eagle Records


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