7

Michael Dease: Relentless

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Dease: Relentless While rising star trombonist Michael Dease's previous albums have all been small group affairs, much of his sideman work has marked him as something of a large ensemble specialist. He's put his slide to good use in numerous big bands and jazz orchestras, including those led by Christian McBride, Charles Tolliver, Roy Hargrove, Rufus Reid, and Nicholas Payton. Given that information, it should come as no great surprise that Dease decided to make a go of fronting his own big band.

Relentless—the rising star trombonist's sixth album, and his first on the Posi-Tone imprint—finds Dease in charge of a group that's populated with other big band mainstays (trumpeters Seneca Black and Greg Gisbert), young jazz heavies (bassist Linda Oh, drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., saxophonist Sharel Cassity), and a few welcome guests (trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and guitarist Andrew Swift). The program reads like a history of Dease's commissions and musical upbringing. He reclaims arrangements originally penned for Hargrove's group (Duke Pearson's "Is That So"), the WDR Big Band (Eric Alexander's "Little Lucas"), and the Webster Groves High School Big Band ("Webster Grooves"); he expands music previously recorded in a small group setting ("Relentless") and looks back on his early attempts at writing for big band ("The Takeover"); and he reshapes classics that he's learned to love over the years ("Two Bass Hit," I'm Glad There Is You," and "Autumn Leaves").

Dease's charts kick, swing, leave lots of room for soloists, and occasionally put each section to the test with fiery, finger-busting passages. It's not all high energy, adrenaline-fueled music, but the most memorable performances—"The Takeover," "Roppongi," and "Two Bass Hit"—tend to get the pulse racing in some way.

Groups like this tend to be studio-made bands, not working units, so it'll be interesting to see if Dease can get this group on the bandstand and develop what he's started. It's a unit with plenty of muscle, driven by a leader with boundless talent, so here's to hoping that Dease can keep it afloat and help it evolve.


Track Listing: Is That So; Force; Relentless; I'm Glad There Is You; The Takeover; Little Lucas; Roppongi; Two Bass Hit; Webster Grooves; Autumn Leaves.

Personnel: Michael Dease: trombone, musical director; Todd Bashore: alto saxophone, flute; Tim Green: alto saxophone, flute; Diego Rivera: tenor saxophone; Sharel Cassity: tenor saxophone; Tony Lustig: baritone saxophone; Adam Rongo: tenor saxophone (7); Seneca Black: trumpet; Greg Gisbert: trumpet; Alphonso Horne: trumpet; Etienne Charles: trumpet; Alex Norris: trumpet; Benny Benack III: trumpet; Anthony Stanco: trumpet; Tom "Bones" Malone: trombone; Jerrick Matthews: trombone; Coleman Hughes: trombone; Jeff Nelson: bass trombone; Ron Wilkins: trombone; Peter Nelson: trombone (7, 10); Wycliffe Gordon: trombone (10), vocals (8), slide trumpet (8); Miki Hayama: piano; Linda Oh: bass; Ulysses Owens Jr.: drums; Andrew Swift: guitar (7); Gwendolyn Burgett: percussion.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Tropical Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Tropical Infinito
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "At This Time..." CD/LP/Track Review At This Time...
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 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!

Buy it!