All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Michael Dease: Reaching Out

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Somebody has to be the keeper of the flame, right? In jazz, an art form that has only recently passed the century mark, that responsibility has seemed to diminish in importance. It's not that music schools aren't churning out graduates versed in the traditional repertory, and post-modern players aren't constantly pushing the envelope of possibilities. It's just that we need more musicians like Michael Dease who, to quote Art Blakey, play jazz that "washes away the dust of everyday life." With Reaching Out, his fifth for Posi-Tone Records (a label whose mission is to throw accelerant on that flame) he doubles down on the joy of music making.

He seems to always find kindred souls who share in his vision, as shown in previous recordings with the veterans Renee Rosnes, Lewis Nash, Steve Wilson, Christian McBride, and Rodney Whitaker. Here, he recruits two giants of the saxophone Ralph Bowen and Walt Weiskopf to interact with some younger talent—players that have the makings of true believers.

What we mean by that is Dease prioritizes the happiness in his jazz. Take the opener, Cedar Walton's "Something In Common," or Steve Turre's "Blackfoot." Both are pieces that are overflowing with a joyful swing. The latter composition, modeled after "Cherokee," is delivered at an auctioneer's hyperspeed with Bowen and Dease chasing drummer Zach Adleman's turbocharged tempo. There is a return to the hipness factor in this music. Dease's original, "The Chameleon Eye," grabs memories of Lee Morgan's funkiness and injects some Herbie Hancock-like rhythm-intensive lines. The composition features the young and talented vibraphonist Behn Gillece (check out his Walk Of Fire (2017)).

What makes Dease stand out is his love of melody and ability to craft arrangements to accentuate such. Perfect examples are the three cover tunes, Babyface's "Water Runs Dry," Paul and Linda McCartney's "Live And Let Die," and the 1990s hair metal band Extreme's "More Than Words." McCartney's title track to the James Bond movie of the same name is given all of the dramatic effect of the original, from it's most gentle beginnings to the soulful dramatics and swinging interludes. All of the covers here could, with lesser arrangements, become schmaltzy or sentimental. But like the masters, Coltrane's take on "My Favorite Things" or Miles' "Surrey With the Fringe On Top," Dease champions familiar music and makes it new again.

Track Listing: Something In Common; Live And Let Die; Tipping Point; More Than Words; Double Luminosity; The Takeover; Ballade; The Chameleon Eye; Blackfoot; Water Runs Dry.

Personnel: Michael Dease: trombone; Ralph Bowen: tenor saxophone; Walt Weiskopf; tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; Behn Gillece: vibraphone; Luther Allison: piano; Peter Brendler: bass; Zach Adleman: drums.

Title: Reaching Out | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Reaching Out

Reaching Out

Posi-Tone Records
2018

buy
All These Hands

All These Hands

Posi-Tone Records
2016

buy
Father Figure

Father Figure

Posi-Tone Records
2016

buy
Decisions

Decisions

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy
Relentless

Relentless

Posi-Tone Records
2014

buy
Coming Home

Coming Home

D Clef Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Accelerator CD/LP/Track Review
Accelerator
by Doug Collette
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Shades CD/LP/Track Review
Shades
by Doug Collette
Published: October 20, 2018
Read "Vol.2" CD/LP/Track Review Vol.2
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "texting and driving" CD/LP/Track Review texting and driving
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Ts'iibil Chaaltun" CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Minus" CD/LP/Track Review Minus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 12, 2018
Read "The Great Nostalgist" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Nostalgist
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Kill The Boy" CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017