All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Benito Gonzalez: Passion Reverence Transcendence

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
In the grand, giving spirit of the master, pianist Benito Gonzalez, drummer Gerry Gibbs and bassist Essiet Okon Essiet hold absolutely nothing back and pull no punches on their exhilarating tribute to McCoy Tyner, Passion Reverence Transcendence.

With each tune taped in a single take, the trio explodes with a bold and proclamatory rush. "Fly with the Wind" (originally written by Tyner for trio and strings in 1976) sets the bar high and never looks back. It's a feverish give and take as Gonzalez aggressively reveals the melodic nuances with punchy, crackling clarity, leading Gibbs and Essiet who are, without any exaggeration, literally a locomotive steaming down the tracks, from one sonic leap to the next.

The trio then takes a perceptible rock 'n roll stance on Tyner's early 90's composition "Just Feelin,'" featuring a fierce and rubbery bass solo that seamlessly unleashes Gonzalez's right hand into numerous flights of creative fancy. "Rotunda," a late 70's Tyner highlight, is a total eruption, with Gibbs' rock solid, furious, muscular propulsion and Essiet's brilliant, fleet fingered interplay leaving you to marvel. Quiet, harp-like tones and various percussion herald "Festival in Bahia" before that too becomes a celebratory full force gale with Gonzalez especially playing the melody off the Afro/Brazilian undercurrents set up by his playful rhythm section.

And we're barely twenty five minutes into the music. Can they keep this pace up?

They can. And will after they take a breather. "Blues On the Corner" is a loose and loping blues which Gonzalez approaches with a Thelonious Monk-like, mischievous glee. Essiet again delivers a fascinating solo on the richly layered, energetic "The Greeting." Gonzalez then pares down 1974's expansive gem "Atlantis" from it's original eighteen minutes to just over a third of the time, but reveals as much of Tyner's intuition for harmonic construction and invention in that time as possible. Another blow-out.

Before concluding the outing with three Tyner-inspired compositions of their own, the trio treats "You Taught My Heart to Sing," a lyrical ballad from the mid 80's, with rolling elegance. The pianist then takes a stunning solo turn on John Coltrane's everlasting "Naima," which Tyner has rendered sublimely uncountable times. You need only ears to experience the beauty.

Essiet's Weather Report styled "Tyner Train Express" highlights Gibbs' synthesizer and a pumping baseline. Gibbs' mid-tempo "Between Friends" and Gonzalez's explosive, improvisational set ending "Brazilian Girls" are more in the McCoy Tyner vein, but that hardly matters. The three have done themselves and Tyner more than justice on Passion Reverence Transcendence. They've returned Tyner to the fore and blasted themselves into that rare territory of contemporary jazz masters themselves.

Track Listing: Fly with the Wind; Just Feelin’; Rotunda; Festival in Bahia; Blues on the Corner; The Greeting You Taught My Heart to Sing; Atlantis; Inner Glimpse; Naima; Tyner Train Express; Between Friends Brazilian Girls.

Personnel: Benito Gonzalez: piano; Gerry Gibbs: drums, percussion, Mini-Moog; Essiet Okon Essiet: bass.

Title: Passion Reverence Transcendence | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Just One More Time" CD/LP/Track Review Just One More Time
by James Fleming
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Quiet Life" CD/LP/Track Review Quiet Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Overneath" CD/LP/Track Review Overneath
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS" CD/LP/Track Review Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds...
by Chris May
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "Roque" CD/LP/Track Review Roque
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2017