New Directions: New Directions

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
New Directions: New Directions 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

Title: New Directions | Year Released: 2000


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Möbius Strip" CD/LP/Track Review Möbius Strip
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 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.