95

Patrick Cornelius: Maybe Steps

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Patrick Cornelius: Maybe Steps Fierce (Whirlwind, 2010) found alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius in fine, feisty form, as he worked through his own winning compositions in a piano-less trio with occasional guests format, but he's following a more reflective line of musical thought with a stellar quintet on Maybe Steps. This album is a mostly-original set of music with pensive pieces aplenty, and provides a better-rounded picture of the leader's talents. Cornelius may have basically been in battle mode for Fierce, but he disarms on this one.

While Cornelius and company are willing to kick things into high gear with up-tempo swing (George Shearing's "Conception") and rhythmically vibrant, drum-driven music that showcases superb soloists within this band ("Shiver Song"), they do it sparingly. On the majority of this music, he looks back over his life's experiences and muses long and hard on the memories at hand. A less-is-more lullaby ("Bella's Dreaming") with a Billy Strayhorn sensibility is an aural depiction of a daughter's nap time rituals, while the title track—which also appeared on Fierce—is a trip through the major changes and turning points in Cornelius' life, and a dour yet hopeful "Brother Gabriel" touches on depression and takes musical inspiration from Peter Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood."

The mood of Maybe Steps is markedly different from that of its predecessor, with Cornelius' personnel changes reflecting that difference. None of his friends from Fierce return, but he taps plenty of rising star peers. Pianist Gerald Clayton is fantastic throughout this set, guitarist Miles Okazaki steals the show on "Into The Stars," bassist Peter Slavov anchors the band and delivers some skillful soloing of his own ("A Day Like Any Other"), and drummer Kendrick Scott, who appeared on the saxophonist's self-produced debut, is never short on ideas, whether they be bold or benign. While these five musicians flesh out Cornelius' ideas together throughout the album, things become a bit more intimate when pianist Assen Doykin makes his lone appearance on a fragile and ever-so-tender take on Kurt Weill's "My Ship."

Maybe Steps may not match Cornelius' prior album when measured by intensity, but it surpasses it in all other categories. A more mature outing with greater emotional depth, it continues to reveal more treasures and pleasures with repeated listening.

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; Mile Okazaki: guitar (6, 8); Assen Doykin: piano (9).

Title: Maybe Steps | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Windows" CD/LP/Track Review Windows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Swan Song" CD/LP/Track Review Swan Song
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 17, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!