316

Eric Wyatt: The Blueprint: Family Business

By

Sign in to view read count
Boasting a mixture of some of the best young players around, many from the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz scene and mixing in veteran alto saxophonist master James Spaulding, Eric Wyatt has fashioned a sprawling, energetic, raw-boned recording, at times bringing to mind the cooking era of Blue Note Records.

Wyatt, a big-toned tenor saxophonist who favors bold, sweeping lines, is in rocking form on his own "One for the People," powered by drummer E.J. Strickland and on James Spaulding's raucous "Hurry Home." Spaulding's soulful solo is announced in an acidic tone and propelled by yelps, squawks and trills. He is a joy to hear.

Wyatt can also play with delicacy; hear him on "Beneath the Surface," written by underappreciated tenor man Bill Saxton. The opening motif briefly suggests "Beautiful Love," then goes on to limn its own theme. Strickland, no less a force here, motors the proceedings with authority without getting in the way. The leader's jumping "Welcome Home" spotlights fire-breathing trumpeter Keyon Harrold, as well as another thoughtful Wyatt solo.

Featured on soprano on "TFB (Tears for Baghdad): the Aftermath," the leader evokes a misterioso mood worthy of Ellington and Strayhorn that he passes off to pianist Robert Glasper for a long, eloquent statement, well shaded by Strickland.

"If I Had Only Known" (another Wyatt original) is the release's most lyrical track. Pianist Anthony Wonsey shines here, moving away from the more obvious McCoy Tyner influence heard in some of the preceding tracks. The leader too is reflective yet in motion, with a touch of sour in his tone and stretching some of his notes to great effect. Kenyatta Beasley's golden-toned offering extends the mood of this exuberant performance. All hands stretch out on the magic carpet laid by Strickland and bassist Darryl Hall.

The only real problem here is that, at well over 70 minutes, sameness creeps into the proceedings. Digital recording technology allows for considerable recording time per disc, but it is not always wise to use every second of that time. Often, less is indeed more. Another minus is that "Maybe Tomorrow" sounds too much like McCoy Tyner's brilliant "Three Flowers."

These flaws are not enough to blunt the impact of this nicely conceived, well-executed recording. It provides a worthy showcase for all involved.

Title: The Blueprint: Family Business | Year Released: 2004


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Yequm CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Schlitten CD/LP/Track Review Schlitten
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 24, 2017
Read The Willisau Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Together Apart CD/LP/Track Review Together Apart
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Goat Man & The House of the Dead" CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Petite Afrique" CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "682/681" CD/LP/Track Review 682/681
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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