324

Shawn Maxwell: Originals II

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Shawn Maxwell: Originals II
Multiple reedist (alto saxophone, mainly) Shawn Maxwell titled his fine debut CD Originals (Self-Produced, 2005). It was an apt tag for a set of all original tunes, played by Maxwell and an excellent backing unit fronted by the leader's distinctively tart and intrepid horn sound. His sophomore outing, Originals II, is more of the same, and pushes his modern approach—with a strong rooting in the bop tradition—forward a notch or three.

The set opens with "Rice" (there are some odd song titles here), and the group has a mood of freshness and good time spontaneity behind Maxwell, whose alto tone has a loose, honking and rather rough-hewn feeling to it. This, and much of the set, gives a '60s Blue Note Records vibe, pushed into the new century.

"Duck Snort," in spite of a title that might imply otherwise, swings easy, and pianist Mike Nelson solos with an impressive gusto. "Year Three" features Maxwell on flute, blowing light, frosty lines around Graham Czach's bowed bass and the spare tinkle of Nelson's piano, on a pensive and classical-sounding break in the bop atmosphere.

"Grimlock" gets a glow of electric keyboards and a tight groove, sounding a bit Yellowjacket-ish, and on "Working Dog" guest trombonist Johanna Mahmud opens the tune with bold tones before Maxwell moans in on bass clarinet in front of an organ simmer. Vim and vigor is the name of the game with "Leather," fronting the band with a dark, woody tone on clarinet, while Nelson steps light and breezy on the keys, and on "Sodor," Maxwell blows with a Paul Desmond, dry martini sound.

Originals II, a spirited set of jazz sounds, proves itself an outstanding follow-up to Shawn Maxwell's debut.

Track Listing

Rice; Duck Snort; Insert Title Here; Year Three; Grimlock; Working Dog; Mr. Strongbow; Leather; Storm; Sodor; Zoned Out; Fifth Quarter.

Personnel

Shawn Maxwell: alto sax, flute, clarinets; Matt Nelson: piano, keyboards; Graham Czech: bass; Brad Dickert; drums; Aaron Koppel: guitar (3); Johanna Mahmud: trombone (6).

Album information

Title: Originals II | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian
Read Unnavigable Tributaries
Unnavigable Tributaries
Vicente / Brice / Sanders
Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.