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...

186

Rory Stuart Quartet: So Rise Up

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
So Rise Up showcases New York guitarist, Rory Stuart, leading his quartet through original compositions that are simultaneously engrossing and technically sophisticated. Stuart is no novice, with a number of recordings as a leader—his first was Nightwork (Cadence, 1982)—and plenty of previous exposure, with artists from the renowned saxophonist Charlie Rouse and B3 organ guru Dr. Lonnie Smith to up and coming saxophonist John Ellis and drummer Dan Weiss.

This release features Stuart's working quartet of the past few years, a very talented group featuring Mark Shim on tenor saxophone, Ari Hoenig on drums, and Matt Penman on bass. It gives a view of what the guitarist has to offer both performance-wise and compositionally, with a varied mix of forward-looking and absorbing compositions.

You can tell that the band have been playing together for awhile; starting with the dangerous "Experiment #2," a knotty piece that progresses through unusual time signatures, handled deftly by Hoenig and Penman's rhythmic acrobats and Shim and Stuart's tricky unison lines and extended, explorative solos.

This is a very tight unit and although Staurt and Shim are the primary leads, each player gets time plenty of time to shine. Hoenig's percussive statement on "Exhilirate" is memorable, as is his trading fours with Stuart on "Synechdoche In Schenectady," while Penman's probing bass solo on the ballad-like "Falling Angel" is also notable.

The thing to note about Staurt's playing is that it's not just about rapid fire soloing; he takes time to exploit the compositional changes. He is also an outstanding rhythm player, mixing James Brown funk on "Unexpected Path" and intricate chords/soloing on "Lembrancas," a gauchos' open-range piece, with apparent ease. With a full-bodied sound and clean lines his playing is confident but never overstated.

Shim's throaty tenor is one the most identifiable in jazz, with a touch of old-school blues and avant-garde expressions on the opening track. His tonal range might allude to a clarinet at the beginning of "Pensive," but then unfolds into near baritone pitch as Stuart plays a series of progressing chords on one of the recording's most picturesque tracks.

The quartet shakes, rattles, and bops on "The Same Old Same Old," then closes with the Afro-centric title track, on which Stuart shows more of his encyclopedic guitar playing, as the band joins in and spices up the street party carnival feeling. Combining the old and the new, and mixing it up just right, the music in So Rise Up does exactly as its title suggests.

Track Listing: Experiment #2; Exhilirate; Synechdoche In Schenectady; Falling Angel; Unexpected Path; Lembrancas; Pensive; The Same Old Same Old; So Rise Up.

Personnel: Rory Stuart: guitar; Ari Hoenig: drums; Matt Penman: bass; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone.

Title: So Rise Up | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Smart Cat Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
So Rise Up

So Rise Up

Smart Cat Music
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Don't You Wish?" CD/LP/Track Review Don't You Wish?
by Patrick Burnette
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Light Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Light Blue
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 10, 2018
Read "For Lew" CD/LP/Track Review For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "I Speilvendthet" CD/LP/Track Review I Speilvendthet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 2, 2017