Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
94

Patrick Cornelius: Maybe Steps

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Patrick Cornelius: Maybe Steps Maybe Steps is alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius' third album, and his first for the excellent Los Angeles-based Posi-Tone Records. He's joined by the talented rhythm section of pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Kendrick Scott in a graceful and melodically strong performance, mostly of his original tunes.

Cornelius' compositions swing gracefully, with seemingly effortless ease on the part of all of the musicians. "Maybe Steps" typifies this relaxed groove; the tune also appears on Cornelius' second album, Fierce (Whirlwind Recordings, 2010) where it was characterized by a brighter sound and Michael Janisch's tough bass line. This new version is more effective, the subtle playing of Clayton, Slavov and Scott providing a perfectly judged backdrop to Cornelius' warm alto. On "Echoes of Summer," Cornelius is joined by guitarist Miles Okazaki, the two instruments complementing each other sonically and giving added depth to its melody.

Ispired by Cornelius' baby daughter, "Bella's Dreaming" is a lovely ballad that displays the saxophonist's masterful control of his instrument. "Brother Gabriel," which Cornelius first recorded with the Transatlantic Collective on Travelling Song (Woodville Records, 2009), gets its inspiration from singer/songwriter Peter Gabriel's reflective and downbeat "Here Comes The Flood." Once again, Cornelius produces a beautifully controlled performance, this time on a tune that is a touch more intense than most in this collection. "Le Rendez-vous Final" swings gently, thanks especially to Scott's drumming, and yet it carries an air of sadness that is somehow at odds with this rhythm.

Pianist Asen Doykin duets with Cornelius on an understated and delicate performance of Kurt Weill's melancholic "My Ship"; slow, measured and emotive, it's a superb interpretation of this classic song. Sir George Shearing's "Conception" is more upbeat, driven by Scott's percussion and given added depth, once again, by Okazaki's deft guitar work.

Cornelius' star continues to rise. Maybe Steps is his strongest outing yet, demonstrating his all-too-rare ability to combine the writing of memorable and accessible tunes with a performance that engages with, and enhances, their beauty and emotional connection.


Track Listing: Christmas Gift; Maybe Steps; Bella's Dreaming; Brother Gabriel; Shiver Song; Into The Stars; A Day Like Any Other; Echoes Of Summer; My Ship; Conception; Le Rendez-vous Final.

Personnel: Patrick Cornelius: alto saxophone; Gerald Clayton: piano; Peter Slavov: bass; Kendrick Scott: drums; Miles Okazaki: guitar (6, 8, 10); Asen Doykin: piano (9).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
While We’re Still Young
While We’re Still...
Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
2016
buy
Infinite Blue
Infinite Blue
Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
2013
buy
Maybe Steps
Maybe Steps
Posi-Tone Records
2011
buy
Fierce
Fierce
Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
2010
buy
Lucid Dream
Lucid Dream
Self Produced
2006
buy
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
Gretchen Parlato Gretchen Parlato
vocalist
Walter Smith III Walter Smith III
sax, tenor
Joel Frahm Joel Frahm
sax, tenor
Jeb Patton Jeb Patton
piano
Charles Davis Charles Davis
saxophone
Bob Reynolds Bob Reynolds
sax, tenor
Dino Govoni
sax, tenor
Tia Fuller Tia Fuller
saxophone
Brian VanArsdale Brian VanArsdale
sax, tenor
Rob Jacoby
sax, tenor
Dick Oatts Dick Oatts
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.