All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

380

Hadley Caliman / Pete Christlieb: Reunion

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Reunion showcases a couple of old saxophone pros diving deep into the jazz mainstream, backed by an energized rhythm section. Tenor men Hadley Caliman and Pete Christlieb worked together on the Los Angeles Central Avenue jazz scene back in the 1960s, at a club called Marty's, where Caliman was the mentor. Forty-plus years later, they're back together again, on an absolute jewel of a straight-ahead offering.

Caliman's recording career went dormant for thirty years—a drug problem, jail time, rehabilitation, and then the transition into a 22-year teaching career. His recording reawakening began with Gratitude (Origin Records, 2008), and picked up momentum on Straight Ahead (Origin Records, 2010). Both sets are excellent, showing up on many year-end top ten lists, but Reunion, with more fire in the belly and its oft-times "two gunslingers blazing away" atmosphere tops them.

The music begins with "Little Dex," penned by the set's pianist, Bill Anschell. When Caliman was learning his craft in Los Angeles, this was the nickname for his ability to play like the legendary Dexter Gordon. The tune is a full-force battle of the saxophones, a vehicle for Caliman and Christlieb's contrasting styles: Caliman telling his stories in an obliquely eloquent fashion; Christlieb full of roaring, right-in-your-face savage fury.

The set explores Great American Songbook standards, including: Mercer and Van Heusen's "I Thought About You," a smoky room piece of beautiful balladry; and Cole Porter's enduring "Love for Sale," sounding hot and saucy. Caliman contributes the upbeat yet wistful "Comencio," and "Gala," a hot cooker. Christlieb's delivers the rollicking "Nasty Green," and pensive "Dream On."

Reunion is reminiscent of a straight-through, superb Sonny Rollins album, with a tune or two that gets in the head and won't let go: "Little Dex" being one; and "Wide Stance," also written by Anschell, the other. The band roars out of the stall on "Wide Stance," full of implacable power, the rhythm section of Anschell, bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer John Bishop locking into a powerhouse groove that rings with a bone-shaking, tile walls resonance as the saxophonists go for broke.

A couple of killer sax men and an inspired rhythm team—the mainstream doesn't get any better than this.

Track Listing: Little Dex; Up Jumped Spring; Comencio; Gala; I Thought About You; Nasty Green; Wide Stance; Dream On; Love For Sale.

Personnel: Hadley Caliman: tenor saxophone; Pete Christlieb: tenor saxophone; Bill Anschell: piano; Chuck Dearforf: bass; John Bishop: drums.

Title: Reunion | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Comencio

Comencio

Hadley Caliman
Reunion

Cigar Eddie

Cigar Eddie

Hadley Caliman
Straight Ahead

Back For More

Back For More

Hadley Caliman
Gratitude

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Reunion

Reunion

Origin Records
2010

buy
Straight Ahead

Straight Ahead

Origin Records
2010

buy
Gratitude

Gratitude

Origin Records
2008

buy
 

Celebration

Origin Records
1977

buy
 

Projecting

Origin Records
1976

buy
 

Iapetus

Origin Records
1972

buy

Related Articles

Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 8, 2018
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Music For David Mossman / Live At Vortex London" CD/LP/Track Review Music For David Mossman / Live At Vortex London
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 7, 2018
Read "Songs Without Words" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Without Words
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "In This Together" CD/LP/Track Review In This Together
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 28, 2018