234

Tom Harrell: Paradise

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
This is probably Tom Harrell’s most unusual work to date, and strictly speaking, the least "jazz"-oriented. Enlisting a string quintet and harp in addition to his regular jazz sextet, Harrell pushes his compositional and arranging chops to new levels, and continues to blow great trumpet. The sound of strings and jazz ensemble immediately calls to mind Ted Nash’s Double Quartet. But Harrell has his own approach to orchestration, and his own melodic trademarks. One could think of this album as a revisitation, in greater depth, of the chamber music vibe he first unveiled on 1996’s Labyrinth.

While some of these new compositions fall back on motives he’s used in the past, there are also new and bold elements. The agitated funk of "Wind Chant," for instance, is something of a departure for Harrell; the track is driven by wah-wah guitar from Freddie Bryant and features soaring improvisations by tenorist Jimmy Greene and pianist Xavier Davis. Another highlight is the impenetrably dark string chorale that constitutes part one of "Morning Prayer." Though he doesn’t strike gold with every tune ("Nighttime" and "Wishing Well" are a bit fluffy), Harrell often finds just the right orchestral color to illuminate the vision at hand. And the members of his sextet drive the best tracks ("Baroque Steps," "Sunrise") with bandstand-style energy.


Track Listing: 1. Daybreak 2. Baroque Steps 3. Nighttime 4. Wind Chant 5. Paradise Spring 6. Morning Prayer part one 7. Morning Prayer part two 8. Wishing Well 9. Sunrise

Personnel: Tom Harrell, trumpet and flugelhorn; Jimmy Greene, tenor saxophone; Freddie Bryant, guitars; Xavier Davis, piano; Ugonna Okegwo, bass; Leon Parker, Adam Cruz, drums; Lois Colin, harp; Cenovia Cummins, Belinda Whitney, violin; Juliet Haffner, viola; Daniel Miller, Jeffrey Szabo, cello; Caf

| Record Label: RCA Victor | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Dare to Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare to Be
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Tiresia" CD/LP/Track Review Tiresia
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!