201

Charles Earland: Live

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
“We’re gonna cook a little bit for you – is that O.K.?” With that Charles Earland celebrates his birthday on stage – and it IS a celebration! Horns blaze, the rhythm pounds, and you can’t forget that vital organ. It’s aptly titled – this music lives.

“The Burning Spirit” sets off at full charge, horns shouting the angular theme with the power of a big band. Eric Alexander runs deep, with tangy tone and lines that run forever. Charles likes what he hears; he comps strong behind – strong enough to drown at times. No such problem with Jim Rotundi: his tone is loud and broad, mellow like a flugelhorn and sharp as a tack. Bob Devos snakes everywhere: he darts long like Pat Martino, with a cleaner tone. And it’s time for The Mighty Burner. With deep smoke and happy screams, he cuts a path with weaving fingers. Repetition is used to great effect: the hand pumps, the heat rises. The crowd screams as the chords climb higher; Charles says “Praise the Lord!” and the crowd affirms. The spirit is willing, and so is the listener.

The crowd is silenced, and Charles goes churchy. The organ is solemn, full of vibrato – and then a shout. Alexander starts “If Only For One Night” with that slow groove – a midnight dance if there ever was one. Charles starts low and tender, shouts, then the organ screams a while. This gets Alexander going, and he sounds a bit like Turrentine as he does a loud swagger. Earland takes a three-note theme, varies it deliciously, and goes loud for a rousing finish. “You know, your hands are going on that CD,” he says.

The audience starts off “The Burner’s Magic,” with a great rhythm part from Devos. Alexander screams it hot; like before, it’s hard to hear him at times. Rotundi is an architect: his solo builds ideas into a unified whole, and the audience loves it. Devos gets in some late-night blues. Charles starts with restraint: a four-note pattern becomes a roll, and quickly gains muscle. Greg Rockingham has a moment: his simple drum solo is the essence of tough. He and Alexander take the honors here, and Charles doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight. There’s enough of the Burner’s magic to go around.

The highlights come at the end, with two cuts taken from Charles’ first album. “Black Talk” opens with a shout of “C’mon guitar!” Devos responds with the ringing blues, similar to Melvin Sparks on the 1970 version. Alexander is once more on target: he trills high, and screeches some rusty honks. Charles reprises his original solo, with some fiery variations. The crowd loves it – and lets us know. The end, with tough rhythm, lots of hands, and a slow burn from Charles, is a keeper.

It is topped by “More today from Yesterday”, which is cheered as it opens – the fans remember. It’s a little shorter than the original, and Earland has the only solo: you know what happens. The crowd is there from the beginning; they sound like they could be dancing. Earland rolls warm, as the horns punch the riff. It sounds like the original solo, but faster, and a heart as big as the room. Now THIS is a shout! He takes a long, lush descent – down the Spiral Starecase? And the horns come back. The applause goes on forever – as well it should. Happy Birthday, Charles Earland. And many more!

Songs:The Burning Spirit; If Only For One Night; The Burner’s Magic; Black Talk; Explosion; More Today than Yesterday.

Musicians:Charles Earland (organ); Eric Alexander (tenor sax); Jim Rotundi (trumpet); Bob Devos (guitar); Greg Rockingham (drums).

For more info, contact:http://209.249.8.78/

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Cannonball Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar
Dr. Lonnie Smith Dr. Lonnie Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Lou Donaldson Lou Donaldson
saxophone
Jimmy McGriff Jimmy McGriff
organ, Hammond B3
Johnny "Hammond" Smith Johnny "Hammond" Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Jack McDuff Jack McDuff
organ, Hammond B3
Big John Patton Big John Patton
organ, Hammond B3
Jazz Crusaders Jazz Crusaders
band/orchestra
Les McCann Les McCann
piano
Shirley Scott Shirley Scott
organ, Hammond B3

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Skronky Tonk" CD/LP/Track Review Skronky Tonk
by James Nadal
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Live At Edgefest" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Edgefest
by John Sharpe
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Stick Men + David Cross: Midori" CD/LP/Track Review Stick Men + David Cross: Midori
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!