233

Scott Reeves Quintet: Shape Shifter

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Reeves' Shape Shifter could be called a standard live mainstream affair in that the tunes are, in part, vehicles for some stretching out by the soloists. But the sound slips out of the "standard" description, with its atmosphere of adventure and edgy energy, and an approach that more than hints at the avant-garde, in a way that perhaps Jackie McLean did on his '60s Blue Note recordings.

Better known for his trombone work, Reeves uses the alto flugelhorn here on seven of the tunes, for a richer, slightly deeper tone than the standard flugelhorn; and he goes with an alto valve trombone on two other selections, adding some unfamiliar timbres to the ensemble sound. His solos are spirited and spontaneous, as are those of his band mates.

Tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, Reeves' front line cohort, blows with brooding abandon—unpredictable and by turns fierce, supple, and unfettered, showing why he is one of Maria Schneider's favorite tenorists.

Pianist Jim Ridl leads a very malleable rhythm team—one that molds itself to every solo situation—and he gets a lot of space to strut his stuff, taking the music on some intricately audacious rides.

The all-original set opens with the title cut. It's been adapted for different ensembles by Reeves, but here it's full of turbulence and shifting time signatures in Ridl's solo slot. "The Alchemist," dedicated to Miles Davis, brightens the atmosphere, but maintains the forward momentum and urgency as it churns along with a catchy groove. "Without a Trace" opens wistfully, and features the two horns weaving their dark tones around each other.

"Pedachinho do Brasil" injects some buoyancy into the set, and "New Bamboo" takes the sound into Spanish territory reminiscent, in a pared-down way, of Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain (Columbia Records, 1960).

Shape Shifter is a fresh and inspired mainstream set, featuring a group of top-notch jazz men blowing freely on some vibrant original tunes.

Track Listing: Shape Shifter; The Alchemist; Without a Trace; The Soulful Mr. Williams; Pedacinho do Brasil; New Bamboo; 3'n 2; Incandescence; Last Call.

Personnel: Scott Reeves: alto flugelhorn, alto valve trombone; Rich Perry: tenor saxophone; Jim Ridl: piano; Mike MGuirk: bass; Andy Watson: drums.

Title: Shape Shifter | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Mile High Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Do Not Disturb" CD/LP/Track Review Do Not Disturb
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 26, 2016
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Jondo" CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Play Date" CD/LP/Track Review Play Date
by James Nadal
Published: October 27, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.