For some reason I've never been able to grasp (perhaps because it's not true of mine), musical talent sometimes runs in families. In jazz, for example, we have the Jones brothers (Elvin, Hank, Thad), the Heath brothers (Albert, Jimmy, Percy), the LaBarbera brothers (Joe, John, Pat), the Mangione brothers (Chuck, Gap) and others. Add to that roster the Young brothers (pianist Tim, drummer Alphonso Jr.) whose delightful album, Tales of Time
, happens also to be their first recording together.
As this is basically a trio session (with heavy-duty bassist Bhagwan Khalsa and invited guests), herewith a trio of observations: (1) the brothers clearly have listened to and been influenced by a large number of bop and post bop players and groups; (2) they try not to slavishly imitate any of them; (3) what they most like to do is underline and amplify the beauty and color in any composition, something they do quite nicely. Tim plays with the economy and elegance of a Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan or Kenny Barron, while Alphonso keeps splendid time in the steady and unpretentious manner of a Roy Haynes, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Washington or Lewis Nash.
Another persuasive champion of the post bop style, tenor saxophonist Ben Boker, makes it a quartet on Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields' "I Can't Give You Anything But Love (with stalwart support from the trio), and there are pleasant vocals by Sara Jones on Tim Young's samba "Somewhere Within (wordless) and the lovely Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer classic "Skylark (a duet with Tim). Tim Young also wrote "Waltz for Nanami and "Nahjal, Gene Thorne the gentle "Next Chapter. The trio's ballad feature is Benny Carter's "Souvenir.
In a crowded field where name recognition is often decisive, the Young brothers undoubtedly have their work cut out for them. They've certainly done their part, producing a bright and agreeable album. Whether that is enough to entice an audience remains to be seen (and heard).
Track Listing: Speak Low; Waltz for Nanami; Just Squeeze Me; Souvenir; I Canít Give You Anything But Love; Somewhere Within; Next Chapter; Nahjal; Skylark (58:55).
Personnel: Tim Young: piano; Alphonso M. Young Jr.: drums; Bhagwan Khalsa: bass; Ben Boker (5): tenor sax; Sara Jones (6, 9): vocals; Todd Harrison (6): guitar, percussion.
Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream