Drummer Stockton Helbing is a South Carolina native who has spent over two years as the percussionist for Maynard Ferguson and has also worked with Joe Lovano, Arturo Sandoval, and Diane Schuur.
The quintet that Helbing has assembled for this debut recording consists of musicians who all attended the jazz school at the University of North Texas. The two-horn front line of Ken Edwards on trumpet and flugelhorn and Tom Luer on tenor saxophone is supported by a guitarist, Noel Johnston, in lieu of pianist. Electric bassist Brian Mulholland rounds out the combo.
In presenting these ten original compositions, Helbing notes that they represent a blending of jazz with the accessibility of pop, insofar as they offer memorable melodies while providing vehicles for improvisationyet in a way that's more intellectual than smooth jazz. If that is the case, it is apparent that there is not much to offer to smooth jazz enthusiasts here.
The first half of the album presents the quintet in competently played, but average jazz compositions. "What Could Be, What Has Been" provides a showcase for Johnston's guitar. The latter part of the album is significant more notable. "Harrell's Herald," undoubtedly for Tom Harrell, offers a fine opportunity for Edwards, while "Sell Out" is a standard hard bop tune that could easily pass for the real thing by marquee name artists. The closing "Until Then" offers a nice turn by Luer's tenor saxophone.
Track Listing: Sign Of The Times; Hey Kid;I'm A Computer!; What Could Be, What Has Been; In Orion;
Stocktorb; Departure; In the Next; Harrell's Herald; Sell Out; Until Then.
Personnel: Stockton Helbing: drums, cymbals; Ken Edwards: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tom Luer: tenor
saxophone; Noel Johnston: guitar; Brian Mulholland: four-string electric bass.
World music pioneer Adam Rudolph and his groundbreaking Go: Organic Orchestra join forces with Brooklyn Raga Massive to create the monumental new album, Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records). Ragmala bridges generations, cultures and traditions in a deep-rooted, forward-looking sound born of 21st-century innovation and hybrid voices. Epic in scale and ambition, the project features 40 world-class musicians including Gnawa master musician Hassan Hakmoun, legendary drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, forward-thinking cornetist Graham Haynes, and tradition-blurring flutist...
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!