Cool enough to play at your dinner party, yet hot enough for a serious listen, The Cedar Walton’s Trio releases “Manhattan After Dark” featuring Dale Barlow.
Walton is among the elite of jazz history. He has appeared on such legendary recordings as John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps’ and several others by Art Blakey (whose band, The Jazz Messengers, he joined in 1961), Dexter Gordon, Ornette Coleman, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and many, many others.
True to his reputation, Walton’s playing on ‘Manhattan After Dark’ is a study of amazing piano technique and intense street-wise urban instincts. His interaction with featured guest, tenor saxophonist, Dale Barlow, especially on the tracks ‘My Heart Stood Still’ and ‘Con Alma’ is a wonderful representation on how the greats recorded and interacted with their band. The album was recorded live in the studio and allows for ‘in the moment’ intuitive movements, as well as lyrical subtleties that pass from musician to musician in their solos.
While “Manhattan After Dark” offers little in modern day innovation, it distinguishes itself as a beautifully performed and record piece that can be enjoyed for several years to come. The Cedar Walton Trio offers a lesson in the beauty of music and the elegance of jazz.
Track Listing: 1. My Heart Stood Still
2. Don't Blame Me
3. Relaxin' at Camarillo
4. Con Alma
5. Darn That Dream
7. I Want To Be Happy
9. Like Someone In Love
Personnel: Cedar Walton - piano
Billy Higgins - drums
Dave Williams - bass
Dale Barlow - tenor saxophone
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.