Don Rader Quintet: OdysseyBy
During a notable career that took wing when he joined Woody Herman's band in 1959, Rader has performed with a who's who of jazz luminaries from Maynard Ferguson, Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Harry James to Les Brown, Louie Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Benny Carter, Bill Holman, Frank Foster, Bob Florence and Rob McConnell. The reason you may not have heard his name mentioned recently is simple: Rader has lived, played and taught for more than a dozen years in Australia, which is where he found three of the four young sidemen who round out his splendid quintet on Odyssey, one of a modest handful of albums Rader has recorded under his own name.
Two of his colleagues, pianist Gerard Masters and drummer Tim Firth, studied with Rader at Sydney University's Conservatory of Music. Rader met saxophonist Craig Walters in the 1980s, when he and Lanny Morgan were touring New Zealand (Walters later moved to Sydney), and has known and worked with bassist Brendan Clarke for about ten years. They blend well together, maintaining a tight-knit groove whose group discipline empowers a free flow of individual resourcefulness. Percussionist Tony Azzopardi adds color and steam on "Bernie's Tune" and Rader's "Wilmas."
If you've heard Rader before, it is enough to note that he is playing as well as ever. If you haven't, be prepared for a singularly pleasant surprise. He's a master on trumpet or flugel, at ease in any framework and at any tempo. He's well-served by Walters, an ardent post-bopper most reminiscent of Jimmy Heath or George Coleman, and Masters, an inveterate swinger whose left hand always knows what the right hand is doing, and vice versa. Clarke and Firth give them a wide comfort zone in which to navigate.
Rader wrote four of the nine selections and arranged all save two ("3 of 9," Walters' "Untapped Resource"). Rounding out the delightful program are Bernie Miller's "Bernie's Tune," Kenny Barron's "Voyage," Ornette Coleman's "Ramblin,'" the standard "Alone Together" and Rader's ballad feature, Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now." This is but the latest chapter in Don Rader's Odyssey, one that is still being written as he enters his seventy-second year. It's an engaging narrative, well worth seeking out and perusing.
Eagle Has Landed; 3 of 9; Bernie's Tune; Alone Together; If You Could See Me Now; Untapped Resource; Wilmas; Voyage; Ramblin.'
Don Rader: leader, trumpet, flugelhorn; Craig Walters: tenor, soprano saxophone; Gerard Masters: piano; Brendan Clarke: bass; Tim Firth: drums; Tony Azzopardi (3, 7): percussion.
Title: Odyssey | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Newmarket Music
Post a comment about this album
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZAll About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELPTo expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.
About Don Rader
Instrument: TrumpetArticle Coverage | Calendar | Albums | Photos | Similar Artists