All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

336

Vincent Herring: Mr. Wizard

By

Sign in to view read count
With more than a dozen discs as a leader under his belt, Vincent Herring has developed a foolproof prescription for making great records: employ compatible sidemen, choose appealing compositions and approach the music with zealous devotion. On Mr. Wizard the brilliant saxophonist follows this formula faultlessly and the result is another rewarding listening experience. Herring has one of the most recognizable voices on alto saxophone in music today and is increasingly developing his own personality on soprano as well, as heard on three of the nine tunes here. Joined by young veterans of his recent recordings—trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, bassist Richie Goods, drummer E.J. Strickland and an impressive newcomer in pianist Danny Grissett—the leader navigates his quintet through a program mainly comprised of originals by the group’s members.

Beginning with a bebopping arrangement of “All God’s Children Got Rhythm,” featuring alternating alto and trumpet calls and responses in the melody and four bar exchanges with Strickland, the band shows where it’s coming from before Goods’ “Citizen Of Zamunda,” with its modernistic Native American sounding melody and rhythm featuring the leader’s soprano, demonstrates where it can go. Grissett’s “Hopscotch,” named for its stuttering introduction, is an engaging line that might easily be mistaken for a Horace Silver classic. Herring’s impassioned alto is particularly attractive on “You Leave Me Breathless.”

The quintet fires up McCoy Tyner’s tricky “Four By Five” with admirable aplomb, breathing new life into a classic from a still neglected period of the jazz repertory. A second Grissett original, “Encounters,” is an harmonic exploration of the territory originally mined by Miles Davis’ ‘60s quintet, with the entire group blending into an expressive impressionism propelled by Strickland’s provocative percussion discussions. A pair from the pen of Pelt, “Cassius” and “The Walk Home,” the former a swinging affair and the latter a pensive waltz, demonstrates the trumpeter’s strength as a composer. Herring wraps up the date with his own “Mr. Wizard,” a Jazz Messengerish anthem that gives everybody in the band the kind of workout you can expect to hear in one of their exciting live performances.

Visit HighNote on the web.


Track Listing: 1. All God's Chillun Got Rhythm (4:28) 2. Citizen of Zamunda (4:43) 3. Hopscotch (4:05) 4. You Leave Me Breathless (5:04) 5. Four by Five (5:04) 6. Encounters (7:43) 7. Cassius (5:21) 8. The Walk Home (7:19) 9. Mr. Wizard (5:40)

Personnel: Vincent Herring: Alto Sax, Soprano Sax; Danny Grissett: Piano; Richie Goods: Bass; Jeremy Pelt: Trumpet; E.J. Strickland: Drums.

Title: Mr. Wizard | Year Released: 2004

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Night and Day

Night and Day

Smoke Sessions Records
2017

buy
The Uptown Shuffle

The Uptown Shuffle

Smoke Sessions
2014

buy
 

Morning Star

Challenge Records
2010

buy
Ends And Means

Ends And Means

HighNote Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Playground CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Memories of Maynard CD/LP/Track Review
Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Heptagon" CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Malnoia" CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon" CD/LP/Track Review Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2017