All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Greg Abate with the Tim Ray Trio: Road to Forever

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Abate's name isn't often broached when debating the merits of contemporary jazz saxophonists. It should be. While perhaps best known for his work on alto, the Rhode Island-based swinger proves on Road to Forever, recorded with his regular working trio, not only that his talents on soprano, tenor sax and flute are exemplary, but that he is equally adept as a composer / arranger.

Each of the ten songs on Road to Forever was written and composed by Abate, and they are invariably engaging and worth hearing many more times than once, as are the stellar interpretations by Abate and his outstanding trio, ably supervised by pianist Tim Ray and firmly anchored by bassist John Lockwood and drummer Mark Walker. Abate's balladic "Farewell Phil Woods" (on which he plays alto) is a lustrous masterwork, but no more so than his dynamic riffs on the standards "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" ("Take the Crowell Train"), "Green Dolphin Street" ("Red Fish Blvd") or Charlie Parker's bop evergreen "Confirmation" ("Mr. Parker"). One minor correction: Abate plays tenor and flute on "Red Fish Blvd," not alto and flute, as indicated in the jacket.

No matter what instrument he is playing, Abate is clearly at the top of his game, soloing with perception and assurance in front of a trio that pushes him every step of the way. Ray, a sharp and responsive accompanist, is an engaging improviser in his own right (on acoustic or electric piano), while Lockwood and Walker make the most of every opportunity to lay bare their singular point of view. Even so, Abate is clearly the captain of this ship, showing with every irrepressible line and phrase why he should indeed be counted among the world's foremost contemporary jazz saxophonists. For those who harbor any doubts about that, Road to Forever should lay them to rest once and for all. Although 2017 is in its infancy as this is being written, high marks to Abate and his trio for producing one of the year's more impressive albums to date.

Track Listing: Road to Forever; City of 2-5s; The Dancing Panda; Take the Crowell Train; Farewell Phil Woods; Whaling City Sound; Red Fish Boulevard; Seasons; Buzzardology; Mr. Parker.

Personnel: Greg Abate: soprano sax (1, 9), alto sax (2-5, 10) tenor sax (6), flute (8), alto sax, flute (7); Tim Ray: piano, electric piano; John Lockwood: acoustic, electric bass; Mark Walker: drums, percussion.

Title: Road to Forever | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Road to Forever

Road to Forever

Whaling City Sound
2017

buy
Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan's

Kindred Spirits: Live...

Whaling City Sound
2016

buy
Motif

Motif

Whaling City Sound
2014

buy
The Greg Abate Quintet Featuring Phil Woods

The Greg Abate...

Rhombus Records
2012

buy
Monsters In The Night

Monsters In The Night

Koko Jazz Records
2006

buy
Horace is Here

Horace is Here

Koko Jazz Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "After the Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After the Fall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "The Chicago Blues Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Influx" CD/LP/Track Review Influx
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "New Chapter" CD/LP/Track Review New Chapter
by Jim Olin
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by John Kelman
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Plight & Premonition / Flux & Mutability" CD/LP/Track Review Plight & Premonition / Flux & Mutability
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 10, 2018