183

Javon Jackson, et al. / Joanne Brackeen: Thank You, Joe! / Popsicle Illusion

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Javon Jackson, et al. / Joanne Brackeen: Thank You, Joe! / Popsicle Illusion Several Arkadia discs have made their way to my desk and two releases have finally floated to the top for my attention. Two very fine releases, I might add.

Joe Henderson. Continuing their Grammy(r)-nominated Thank You... series, Arkadia serves up a tribute to the very much alive and recording Joe Henderson. Past Thank You... recordings have highlighted deceased artists and include Thank You, Duke (Duke Ellington, 70003), Thank You, John (John Coltrane, 70002) and Thank You, Gerry (Gerry Mulligan, 71191). All have been critically acclaimed something this new release has in common with its predecessors.

In my estimation, Joe Henderson has been blowing more tenor than anyone else these past several years. It is more than fitting for the composer of such Jazz standards as "Recorda Me", "Isotope", and "Inner Urge" to be highlighted with a tribute. Arkadia has assembled a crack band to provide this tribute, one whose center is young tenorist Javon Jackson. I would have likened fellow Blue Note player Mark Shim for this Job, but the lyrical and Melodic Jackson more than delivers. His tone is confident and probing, respectfully inspecting the corners and edges of these Henderson gems. Jackson has a killer funkiness expressed perfectly on the opening "Mamacita" and "Isotope". He is perfectly supported and augmented by Randy Brecker and Terrell Stafford, who both deliver blistering solos. Marsalis alum Eric Reed is at his typical urbane best on the piano. The rest of the rhythm section (bassist Roger Whitaker and drummer Carl Allen) shows up ready to play. A spirited tribute all the way around.

Joanne Brackeen. Joanne Brackeen has always reminded me of the late Jaki Byard. She possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz piano and can play in multiple styles (often in the same piece). A member of the Jazz Messengers and pianist to Joe Henderson and Stan Getz, Brackeen has developed enviable chops, which she displays in abundance on Popsicle Illusion. The disc opens with "If I Were a Bell". Now, the listener might expect a Red Garland/Herbie Hancock post-Miles rendition, but no...Brackeen imagines how this standard would sound if played by James P. Johnson. The style is decidedly 21st Century Stride. Wow!

The Beatles' "Michelle" shows up as a classical concert recital piece and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and "Prelude to a Kiss" are caressed as smooth ballads. Brackeen's own compositions tend toward the complex, both rhythmically and conceptually. Ms. Brackeen’s depth and breath (both compositionally and performance-wise) is stunning. I generally think that all solo piano discs are good, but some are better. Popsicle Illusion defines the new category of “More Better.”

Track Listing ( Thank You, Joe! ):Mamacita; Isafan; Gazelle; The Kicker; Ask Me Now; Recorda Me; Isotope; Inner Urge; Granted. (Total Time: 56:04)

Personnel ( Thank You, Joe! ):Eric Reed, Joanne Brackeen: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Javon Jackson: Tenor Saxophone; Randy Brecker: Trumpet. Flugelhorn; Terrell Stafford: Trumpet; Renato Thoms: Percussion; Steve Nelson: Vibraphone.

Track Listing ( Popsicle Illusion ):If I Were A Bell; Michelle; Popsicle Illusion; From This Moment On; Bess, You Is My Woman Now, The Touch Of Your Lips; Telavivision; Knickerbocker Blues; High Tea For Stephanie; Prelude To A Kiss; Nature Boy; Interview With Joanne Brackeen. (Total Time: 71:47)

Personnel ( Popsicle Illusion ):Joanne Brackeen: Piano.


Title: Thank You, Joe! / Popsicle Illusion | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Arkadia Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Nomad" CD/LP/Track Review Nomad
by Nick Davies
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Play Date" CD/LP/Track Review Play Date
by James Nadal
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31" CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!