303

Greg Abate Quintet: Monsters In The Night

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Abate Quintet: Monsters In The Night Jazz master and multi-saxophonist Greg Abate, long known as the "prince of bebop," has thirteen previous recordings as a leader to his credit. Harnessing his physical style of play and combining it with his versatility on the saxophones and flute, he has made one hair-raising and jaw-dropping album with Monsters In The Night, whose nine tracks are dedicated to the monsters we've all come to love and fear.

Given this collection of original compositions with titles like "Dracula" and "Frankenstein," I frankly did not know what to expect. But after only one listen, I was shaken by just how good the disc really is. Abate is the major player, not only on alto (with which he is primarily associated), but also a mean tenor and flute as well. An unselfish leader, Abate provides enormous space in his arrangements for the members of his quintet to make their mark.

Hailing from the Boston and Providence, Rhode Island area, the Greg Abate Quintet consists of pianist Paul Nagel, trombonist Artie Montanaro, bassist Bill Miele and drummer Vinny Pagano, all talented players. They play modern, high-octane mainstream/bebop material. This is immediately evident from the opening "Dracula," a rapid-paced score featuring a fine tenor/trombone front-line sound with fangs. "Frankenstein" follows (naturally) with a jazzy waltz highlighting incredible statements by Abate (on alto) and pianist Nagel.

The title track, "Monsters In The Night" tones down the music in a slower, melodic fashion with a solid solo performance by trombonist Montanaro, who gives way to Abate on screaming tenor. Watch out for "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde," or you may fall into their embrace on this super swinging number, which moves all over. The leader makes another passionate alto expression, but pianist Nagel makes one hell of a scary impression.

When one thinks of the "Bride of Frankenstein," the picture of a gentler monster comes to mind—which Abate confirms with his flute foray on this sweet harmonic piece. The program rounds out with the very boppish "Transylvania 6-5000," a full ten minutes of punch; "Pentagram, The Wolfman"; and the Latin-shaded percussive piece "Igor's Revenge," where Abate demonstrates his versitility on alto and flute.

Without reservation, I came to the scary conclusion that Monsters is one of the best pure jazz albums I've had the pleasure of listening to. Energizing, harmonious, melodic and full of fire, with enough electric sparks to bring the Frankenstein creature back to life. One blood-curling monster performance by Abate and his graveyard crew.


Track Listing: Dracula; Frankenstein; Monsters In The Night; Dr. Jekyll/Mr, Hyde; Bride of Frankenstein; In The Woods At Night; Transylvania 6-5000; Pentagram, The Wolfman; Igor's Revenge.

Personnel: Greg Abate: alto and tenor saxophone, flute; Artie Montanaro: trombone; Paul Nagel: piano; Bill Miele : bass; Vinny Pagano: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Koko Jazz Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Bye" CD/LP/Track Review Bye
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Chasing Pixies" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Pixies
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "I Have Known Mountains" CD/LP/Track Review I Have Known Mountains
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "At This Time..." CD/LP/Track Review At This Time...
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!