* July 18 release features saxophonists Don Braden and Chris Potter, pianist David Hazeltine, and drummer Bruce Cox *
Sometimes a promising combination of musicians, if given an inspiring selection of songs, will create a magical experience for the audience. On two evenings in late November 1998, Dutch-born bassist Joris Teepe assembled his quintet at Smalls, the downtown jazz club in New York City, and their performance sparkled with a brilliance that even long-time aficionados found astonishing. Fortunately, the alchemy produced by Teepe and his renowned cohorts on this occasion was recorded for posterity, and can be found on For Adults Only, a new CD available July 18, 2000 from Postcards. This is the first new Postcards jazz release since the label was acquired by Arkadia Records last June.
Joining Teepe on the bandstand at Smalls for this exceptional recording were four notables from today's jazz world whose contributions enhance any project with which they're associated. Any quintet boasting saxophonist Don Braden or fellow reedman Chris Potter by themselves in the frontline would be significant in its own right, so an opportunity to hear the pair exhort and complement each other on the album's mix of five standards and four original compositions is an even better idea. Braden, of course, is the masterful instrumentalist known for his tenor work for luminaries like Wynton Marsalis, Roy Haynes and J. J. Johnson. Recently, Braden has appeared on albums by trumpeter Tom Harrell and the Mingus Big Band while also leading his own recording dates. Only 29 years old, Potter has several CDs as a leader and has performed with legends like Marian McPartland and Red Rodney for nearly a decade; presently he plays in the Dave Holland Quintet and appears as well on the new Steely Dan album, Two Against Nature." Rounding out the powerhouse rhythm section is pianist David Hazeltine, a frequent foil for vibraphonist Joe Locke and Eric Alexander, plus drummer Bruce Cox, whose resume includes stints with Sonny Rollins and many others.
Born in 1962 in the Netherlands, Joris Teepe has become known as one of the top bassists in jazz today, traveling frequently between Europe and his home in New York City for studio work, concert appearances and television shows. Awarded a master's degree in music from the prestigious Amsterdam School for the Arts, Teepe went on to study with Ron Carter and Peter Washington before embarking on his own career, which includes the academic realm. He has taught the last several years at music conservatories throughout Europe and at the School for the Arts in Porto Alegre, Brazil. His two earlier CDs, Pay As You Earn" and Bottom Line" were widely acclaimed, and the bassist has helped buoy countless rhythm sections with a veritable who's who of jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, Slide Hampton, Renee Rosnes, the Harper Brothers and Candy Dulfer. His work with Tom Harrell led to a partnership of sorts with Braden, and in the past two years Teepe has also recorded with pianist Darrell Grant and saxophonist Joey Berkley.
For Adults Only starts off on lively footing with Billy Strayhorn's Chelsea Bridge," given here a respectfully swinging reading highlighted by a piano solo from Hazeltine that surveys bop stylizations, and Potter's best approximation of Paul Gonsalves. Following is Five Bears," a Dutch folk tune that Teepe has re-arranged, which includes searching solos on bass and soprano saxophone. Second Avenue Story," the first of Teepe's five originals compositions on the album, will recall A Love Supreme," with Teepe's percolating bass line and driving percussion from Cox setting the stage for a battle royale between Braden and Potter, whose intertwining sax solos send the performance to stratospheric heights. There are three more covers--Paul Simon's I Do It For Your Love," You Don't Know What Love Is" and Freddie Hubbard's classic Up Jumped Spring"-- all beautifully played by the instrumentalists, the former and latter cuts enhanced by Teepe's lyrical bass notes.
Teepe's three other compositions on For Adults Only bring to the fore the band members' versatility and singular talents, The bluesy Brother Braden" floats on Braden's warm, evocative tenor sax playing, and the title track