160

Tyrone Brown: Suite For John A. Williams

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Though this disc would never win any awards for longevity—it clocks in at under 35 minutes—the fact that the music has such substance more than makes up for it. On the other hand, if there was more of it, the disc could possibly appear on some of those year-end lists.

As a bassist himself, Brown has no little appreciation of the qualities inherent in other instruments in the string family, and his writing for the string quartet heard here, with two violas instead of the usual two violins, has the air of someone who knows also how to provide springboards for improvisation. Bobby Zankel and Adam Williams might well have thought the same, for there's evidence of it in abundance here, and Zankel in particular might well have turned in his best performances on record.

That said, this is a far more integrated date than many similar efforts in the past. Here there is no showcasing of a virtuoso soloist with the strings merely working in accompaniment. Instead the soloists seem to have a knack for not losing sight of the writing over which they're projecting—at the same time as they do a whole lot more than merely embellish the lines of the strings.

Writer John A. Williams, to whom the music is dedicated, makes a spoken word appearance on the sixth movement of the suite, and whilst his recitation of his own work takes the listener in, it does have the effect of distracting attention from the music, and the fact that the opposite is equally true ensures that almost a third of the disc's playing time makes for a frustrating experience.

Indeed frustration is perhaps the word that best sums up the experience of this disc in its entirety, especially in view of the fact that the nature of jazz recording in the early years of the 21st Century might not necessarily bring these musicians together in a studio again. What's here simply oozes class, but the significant qualifications discussed above keep this release from being a minor classic.


Track Listing: 1st Movement: The Man Who Cried I Am; 2nd Movement: This Is My Country Too; 3rd Movement: Captain Blackman; 4th Movement: Clifford's Blues: 5th Movement: Night Song; 6th Movement: Readings From "Safari West."

Personnel: Bobby Zankel: alto saxophone; Melissa Ortega Locati: violin; Beth Dzwil: viola; Nina Cottman: viola; Ron Lipscomb: cello; Adam Williams: guitar; Tyrone Brown: Bass; Craig McIver: drums.

Title: Suite For John A. Williams | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Dreambox Media


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "The Source" CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "I Try To Remember Where I Come From" CD/LP/Track Review I Try To Remember Where I Come From
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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