All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Eminent jazz guitarist Jimmy Ponder returned to his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to record this session with regional, like-minded musicians. Back in the 1970s, Ponder's craft was prominently conveyed during his association with fiery organist Charles Earland and the soul-jazz ensembles led by saxophonist Lou Donaldson among other notables. Subsequently, he's amassed a hefty discography as a leader and a sideman. On this studio date, his modish and reverent combination of soul, jazz, blues and funk, spawns a delightful listening experience from beginning to end.
With a mixture of originals and tunes composed by others, the guitarist's classy articulations generate a radiant and thoroughly entertaining program. Regardless of momentum or pitch, the band pursues finger-snapping grooves. On trumpeter Woody Shaw's minor-classic "Moontrane Ponder steers the way atop a medium-tempo swing motif, fused with a snazzy bop rendering of the sinuous and memorable primary theme. And in other segments of this endeavor, Ponder's airy phrasings and animated single note lines take on vocal attributes amid an abundance of blustery jazz progressions.
The group kicks it into overdrive on Miles Davis/Victor Feldman's "Seven Steps to Heaven, where Ponder's fluent chord voicings are shaded with blues and funk. Consequently, it tempers the flow with a few warm and sensitive ballads, prominently transmitted via the leader's gliding notes and soulful strut during the standard "There Will Never Be Another You. Naturally, Ponder doesn't reinvent the wheel here but raises the ante via his distinct musical persona, largely graced by his enviable technique, clarity of execution and proclamation of good spirits.
Track Listing: Kickin da Bobo; Moontrane; Too Late Now; Wild is the Wind; Seven Steps to Heaven; Somebodys Child; Who Will Be the One; Somebodys Child Reprise; There Will Never Be Another You; The Creator Has a Master Plan.
Personnel: Jimmy Ponder: guitar; Howard Alexander: piano (1-6, 8, 10); Sonny Barbato: piano (7); Tony De Paolis: bass (6, 10); Jeff Grubbs: bass (1-5); Dr. Mike Taylor: bass (7); Greg Bandy: drums (1, 2, 4, 5, 10); George Heid: drums (3, 6, 7), percussion (4); Douglas Malone: violao (9).
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.