4

Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek: Reeds Ramble

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek: Reeds Ramble Saxophonists Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek are both into their third decades as professional musicians. Their working relationship goes back to the early-90s when Cheek was a member of Blake's "alternative grunge jazz" band The Bloomdaddies. On Reeds Ramble (the title is borrowed from a tune written by guitarist Jerry Reed) the two men lead a quintet on a selection of tunes ranging from Elmo Hope's upbeat "De Dah" to Brian Wilson's oddly unsettling "'Til I Die," with one original each from the saxophonists.

Blake and Cheek have brought together a tremendous rhythm section, which includes The Bad Plus' pianist Ethan Iverson, James Farm bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jochen Rueckert. The three players are consistently excellent—although their playing on Blake's "All About Me" (based on the "All Of Me" changes) and Chico Buarque's "Na Carreira" deserves special mention, especially Iverson's cascading runs on the final section of Blake's tune.

Special mention should also go to "Lady In Langour." Atmospherically, it sounds like a '40s classic ballad yet it's a contemporary tune written by Canadian composer Vickie Yang, who Blake has worked with on a variety of projects. Instrumentally it features fine performances from each musician and some of the album's most intriguing harmonies—with Iverson in the band, there's some stiff competition for that particular accolade.

The real joy of Reeds Ramble is in hearing the tenor saxophones together—in unison, trading phrases, firing off each other's ideas. On "Na Carreira" the twin tenors attack the tune from the off, chasing each other with a real sense of fun, driven by Rueckert's brushed drums. On "I Surrender Dear" they're laid back, almost lazy in places. The feeling is delightfully relaxed. "All About Me" features the pair in rip-roaring bebop mode, while the slinky groove of Eddie Harris' 7/4 "1974 Blues" gives the pair a chance to stretch out on their solos.

Track Listing: Na Carreira; 1974 Blues; Holodeck Waltz; Blue Moose; De Dah; 'Til I Die; I Surrender Dear; All About Me; Lady In Languor.

Personnel: Seamus Blake: tenor saxophone; Chris Cheek: soprano saxophone (3), tenor saxophone; Ethan Iverson: piano; Matt Penman: bass; Jochen Rueckert: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Boss Tenor" CD/LP/Track Review Boss Tenor
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Salão Brazil" CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Black Ice" CD/LP/Track Review Black Ice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "OWT" CD/LP/Track Review OWT
by John Sharpe
Published: September 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!