41

Geoff Vidal: She Likes That

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Geoff Vidal: She Likes That It's not often that a debut CD by a young artist brims with great playing, complex, soulful compositions, and exceptional group chemistry. But that's exactly what happens on Geoff Vidal 's She Likes That. Vidal is a young tenor saxophonist from New Orleans who—much like fellow Big Easy native Rob Wagner—wields a big, bluesy "bull tenor" in the mold of Tony Malaby, Clifford Jordan and Booker Ervin. On She Likes That, Vidal is backed by highly talented young players who imbue his excellent original compositions with fire and spontaneity.

Most noteworthy is the dynamic, creative drumming of Makaya McCraven. A busy, bold player, McCraven—whose father, Steven McCraven, is a drummer who's played with Sam Rivers, Arthur Blythe, and has led a few sessions of his own—has a crackling fresh, distinctive approach to the kit. Frequently, he refers to funky New Orleans second-line rhythms, as on the CD's opening track, "Darjeeling." Joe Hundertmark's finger-style guitar sound is a bit reminiscent of Kevin Eubanks. Like McCraven, Hundertmark is a no- holds-barred soloist whose non-jazz influences peek through Vidal's jazz-based music in an appealing way. This is most evident on the closing title track, a hard-rocking foray that nods both towards early '70s fusion (à la Mahavishnu Orchestra) and the so-called post-rock of contemporary bands such as Tortoise.

That said, the remainder of She Likes That is energetic post-bop with a free-bop edge, rather like the Dave Holland Quartet circa Extensions (ECM, 1990). The original compositions, written by Vidal and Hundertmark, are smart and multi-themed with lots of interesting rhythmic and harmonic twists and turns. Several tunes, notably "Darjeeling" and "O-Zoning," mate relatively simple, hummable opening melodies to lengthy, chops-busting second themes that grow organically out of the first. It's a fascinating ploy, and Vidal— much to his credit—doesn't overuse it.

Both Vidal and Hundertmark indulge their lyrical side on a couple of tunes. Vidal's "Time Apart," the CD's sole ballad, has a dark, pensive mood, while Hundertmark's "Lanusa" is a shimmering moderate tempo piece with an irresistible melody that lingers long after the tune is over.

While Vidal and his band offer excellent playing and distinctive compositions throughout, She Likes That is one of those recordings that has that certain je ne sais quoi that keeps it in the changer, or on the iPod playlist, indefinitely. The entire CD literally explodes with creative energy and the sheer excitement and joy of music-making. More please!


Track Listing: Darjeeling; Different Planes; O-Zoning; Time Apart; Freediver; Lanusa; She Likes That.

Personnel: Geoff Vidal: tenor saxophone; Tatum Greenblatt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Joe Hundertmark: electric guitar; Michael O'Brien: bass; Makaya McCraven: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Art and Music Factory


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Beguiled" CD/LP/Track Review Beguiled
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "A Tribute to Herbie +1" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Herbie +1
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 5, 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!