Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

540

Myron Walden: Momentum

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Sometimes a break can be the best thing a musician can take. Not getting tired by any means, if a four-year sabbatical from recording as a leader results in as strong a comeback as reedman Myron Walden's, perhaps artists should take breaks more often. A charter member of drummer Brian Blade's Fellowship Band, Walden is back with not one, but three CDs over the next couple months. The first, Momentum, is a potent modern mainstream set that takes trumpet icon Miles Davis' legendary 1960s quintet as a touchstone, but achieves reverence without sacrificing its own voice.



Walden's writing has always demonstrated a distinctive blending of front line horns that almost sounds like a single voice, but especially in the context of the Fellowship where it's a confluence of reeds. Still, even when writing for saxophone and trumpet, as Walden does here, there remains a skillful commingling, with the horns often orbiting around each other harmonically before coming together in strong unison. The relaxed yet simmering feel of "Pulse"—a waltz-time ballad driven by flexible drummer Kendrick Scott's visceral, in-the-pocket groove with bassist Yasushi Nakamura—provides a modal context for solos building with inevitable intensity by Walden and trumpeter Darren Barrett, while David Bryant's atmospheric electric piano pushes the band into territory somewhere between Miles' Filles de Kilimanjaro and Miles in the Sky, both from Columbia in 1968.



Walden deserts his usual axe in favor of tenor saxophone, proving himself as thoughtful yet fiery a player on the bigger horn as he is on alto, and using the instrument's lower register to accomplish many of the ideas he'd normally play on bass clarinet (also left in its case). Miles may be the touchstone, but Walden's charts are far more challenging to navigate—especially "Carnage," an up-tempo burner featuring Scott's marvel of in-the-moment, polyrhythmic invention.



With plenty of solo space for everyone, Walden also contributes three largely through-composed miniatures, serving as rallying points throughout Momentum's 55-minute set. "Like a Flower Seeking the Sun," with Nakamura's evocative, chordal intro, is redolent of Shorter's enduring title track to Davis' Nefertiti (Columbia/Legacy, 1967), with its repeated front line motif a foundation for Scott's imaginative, polyrhythmic invention. Two versions of "When Time Stood Still" bookend five tunes, ranging from the indigo-tinged "Longing" to the barnstorming "Carnage"—managing, both in less than 100 seconds, to provide brief yet definitive solos spots: the first, some empathic in-tandem free play from Walden and Barrett; the second, a closing statement supporting Scott's ongoing emergence as an increasingly ubiquitous post-bop powerhouse of choice.



On its own, Momentum would be enough to say that Walden is back, and with a vengeance. As part of a triptych that will ultimately conclude with the reflective In This World and funk-driven Countrified (both due out on Walden's Demi Sound Records in January, 2010), it's but one of three that will paint the broadest picture of Walden's expansive interests yet; a document of one of the modern mainstream's most provocative saxophonists, composers, and bandleaders.


Track Listing: Of Three Worlds; The Road Ahead; Pulse; Vision of a Visionary; Miles; When Time Stood Still; What Goes Up Must Come Down; Longing; Like a Flower Seeking the Sun; Memories; Carnage; When Time Stood Still.

Personnel: Myron Walden: tenor saxophone; Darren Barrett: trumpet; David Bryant: electric piano; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Kendrick Scott: drums.

Title: Momentum | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Demi Sound Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Miles

Miles

Myron Walden
Momentum

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Myron Walden
Momentum

Working Out to Jazz
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Momentum

Momentum

Demi Sound Records
2009

buy
This Way

This Way

Fresh Sound New Talent
2005

buy
 

Hypnosis

NYC Records
1996

buy

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read The Forest from Above CD/LP/Track Review
The Forest from Above
by John Eyles
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Imaginary Band CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Band
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Night CD/LP/Track Review
Night
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 13, 2018
Read An Ayler Xmas Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2018
Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read "Retro Report" CD/LP/Track Review Retro Report
by Kevin Press
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14" CD/LP/Track Review More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14
by Eric Gudas
Published: December 1, 2018
Read "The Music of Richard Whiting" CD/LP/Track Review The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Musical Prophet:The Expanded 1963 New York Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review Musical Prophet:The Expanded 1963 New York Sessions
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 23, 2018
Read "Facing Dragons" CD/LP/Track Review Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read "IL Y A" CD/LP/Track Review IL Y A
by John Eyles
Published: February 15, 2018