All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Gerry Hemingway Quintet: Riptide

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Over the past 25 years, the lineup of drummer/percussionist Gerry Hemingway's quintet might have changed, but his central organizing concepts have remained constant. Like a working dog, specifically a shepherd, he always seems to be organizing chaos and safeguarding melody. Well, that is, when he isn't inciting the tumult.

The most recent variation of his quintet floats a two-horn, Oscar Noriega and Ellery Eskelin frontline, along with Hemmingway's his recent favorite collaborator, guitarist Terrence McManus, and bassist Kermit Driscoll.

The percussionist's fame might have come by way of his membership in the prestigious Anthony Braxton Quartet of the 1980s and '90s. But his post-Braxton work in the WHO trio, BassDrumBone, his Quartets and Quintets, solo performance, and duos with the likes of Marilyn Crispell, Ivo Perelman, John Butcher, and has elevated Hemmingway's status to master musician.

Riptide opens with the light-treading "Sumna," with Hemingway working the brushes against Driscoll's acoustic pulse and the clarinet/tenor saxophone dance of Noriega and Eskelin. With McManus plucking tight ebullient patterns, the quintet announces that these blues are not to be drawn from an atrabilious well. Like the title track suggests, each piece flows continuously into the next, as if the music, although of differing temperatures and currents, is part of one ocean of sound. The fevered pitch of the title track swaps roles, with the two horns creating the pulse while Hemingway, McManus, and Driscoll tear off chunks of notes.

From this frenzied piece the disc sails into calmer and varied seas; from the gentle, almost folkloric gliding "At Anytime" to the funked0up "Meddle Music," the quintet seems to signal that musical genres are no longer an inhibitor to creation. The quintet takes a trip to the Caribbean on "Backabacka," and dreamland with "Holler Up," where McManus sets up the sweet dance of Noriega's bass clarinet and Eskelin's tenor saxophone gambol.

The overriding feel of Riptide is one of unabated joy.

Track Listing: Sumna; Riptide; Gitar; At Anytime; Asamine; Holler Up; Meddle Music; Backabacka; Chicken Blood.

Personnel: Oscar Noriega: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone; Terrence McManus: guitars; Kermit Driscoll: acoustic bass, electric bass guiitar; Gerry Hemingway: drums, harmonica.

Title: Riptide | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Grey Matter

Grey Matter

NoBusiness Records



Auricle Records



Clean Feed Records


Inbetween Spaces

Auricle Music


Related Articles

Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Carpe Diem CD/LP/Track Review
Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Exotica CD/LP/Track Review
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Oriental Orbit CD/LP/Track Review
Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Brightbird CD/LP/Track Review
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Tenderly featuring Gilad Hekselman" CD/LP/Track Review Tenderly featuring Gilad Hekselman
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Sektion 3-7" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 3-7
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 1, 2017