180

New Directions: New Directions

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The New Groove. New Directions was the promotional brainchild of Blue Note Records president Bruce Lundvall. Lundvall, in an effort to further promote an already well established collaborative spirit among the Blue Note stablemates, asked alto saxophonist Greg Osby to pull together a group of the younger players signed to the label rooster. The plan was to assemble several notable players, have them work up new performances of the Blue Note Canon. They would then take the show on the road and finally return to the studio and record under the watchful eye of Rudy Van Gelder (many of the songs being originally recorded by Van Gelder 40 years ago). The resulting band, in addition to Osby, was pianist, Jason Moran, Tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris. Rounding out the rhythm section was Tarus Mateen on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums.

New Directions is the fruit of this ambitious endeavor. The recording is as well-conceived and promoted as the original concept. The arrangements are novel, especially Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder” and Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father”. Other standards include Hank Mobley’s “No Room for Squares”, featuring Stefon Harris in a spirited vibes solo and Nasheet Waits’ shimmering cymbal work. Of all of the players, it is Greg Osby providing the most orderly and well structured solos. Moran and Harris swing academically. Mark Shim plays like a force of nature. The precocious tenorist gushes angular ideas and attacks resulting in an explosion of melody and free lyricism that are like a breath of fresh air. Shim is an unlikely solution of one part Wayne Shorter, two parts Hank Mobley; three parts Sonny Rollins with a drop of David Murray.

New Directions is a more successful effort than was George Wein’s The Jazz Futures (Novus 63158, 1993) that exploited the young lions of the late 1980s. New Directions is more authentic and a fine reading well worth hearing. Any fan of the four principals will be more than satisfied. Otherwise buy this for Mark Shim.

Track Listing: Theme from Blow Up; The Sidewinder; Ping Pong; Beatrice; No Room for Squares; Song for My Father; Tom Thumb;. Commentary on Electrical Switches; Big Bertha; Recorda Me; Song of the Whispering Banshee; False Start;20 Questions. (Total Time: 65:34)

Personnel: Greg Osby, Alto Sax; Mark Shim, Tenor Sax; Stefon Harris, Vibes; Jason Moran, Piano; Tarus Mateen, Bass; Nasheet Waits, Drums

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Swan Song" CD/LP/Track Review Swan Song
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Som før" CD/LP/Track Review Som før
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Live at the JazzRoom" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the JazzRoom
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "It's A Man's World" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Man's World
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 12, 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!