199

Tarbaby: The End Of Fear

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Tarbaby: The End Of Fear Virtually every musician deals with fear at one time or another. Perhaps it comes with a first opportunity to perform in an ensemble, or maybe it arrives when first taking flight and leaving the relative comforts of written music, searching for an elusive sound through an improvised medium. Regardless of when it happens, performers have to learn to work through this fear to reach a new level of comfort and artistry in music. The trio known as Tarbaby—pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Nasheet Waits—seems to have left fear behind a long time ago: individually, these musicians are at the vanguard of modern jazz; collectively, they present a form of music that lives in the here and now, but gives due credit to who and what has come before. The End Of Fear attests to these facts.

While this crew is more than capable of carrying the load by themselves, three guest horn players add new dimensions to Tarbaby's music. Rising tenor saxophone star JD Allen, alto saxophone guru Oliver Lake, and trumpet titan Nicholas Payton are on hand to lend support and talent to much of this music.

A pair of Revis originals opens the program, and "E-Math" is equal parts hip and ominous. Background chatter—in the same vein as that heard on Marvin Gaye's classic "What's Going On"—evolves into paranoid voices as the doom-laden bass and drum team creates some magic behind Payton's stellar muted lines. The followup, "Brews," has a bluesy, Thelonious Monk-ish slant to it, and an inebriated vibe hovers over this song.

Two collectively created miniatures—"Heads" and "Tails"—deal with free play and bombast. Neither track is particularly memorable, despite the caustic saxophone shrieks on the latter, but freedom—not form—seems to be the point of these two pieces. The only other brief episode is a cover of Bad Brains' "Sailin' On," where raging thrash jazz and throbbing, distorted sounds are the order of the day, with Revis the constant upon which everybody relies.

When this group isn't creating stormy sonic serenades, it produces some wondrous music that follows wide arcs of evolution. Evans' "Jena 6" starts with a touch of mysticism, making friends with the avant-garde and building around the pianist's thought-provoking work before moving toward a climax on the shoulders of Waits' loose-yet-powerful drumming. Waits' "Hesitation" is a masterpiece, with Payton delivering the best horn performance on the album. Breathy allure, bent notes, one fantastic growl, and a Terence Blanchard-like sense of drama are all in play here.

Other noteworthy performances include Lake's angular "November '80," a straightforward ballad performance of Fats Waller's "Lonesome Me," and a ghostly "Tough Love," from Andrew Hill's catalog. Tongue-in-cheek toying, musical tantrums and high art are all present in equal parts on the compelling journey that is The End Of Fear.


Track Listing: E-Math; Brews; Heads; Unity; Jena 6; Sailin' On; Lonesome; November '80; Hesitation; Tails; Tough Love; Abacus.

Personnel: Orrin Evans: piano; Eric Revis: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums; JD Allen: tenor saxophone (7, 11); Oliver Lake: alto saxophone (1, 4, 8, 10, 11); Nicholas Payton: trumpet (1, 3, 4, 9, 11).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Something About Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Something About Jobim
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "El Changüí Majadero" CD/LP/Track Review El Changüí Majadero
by James Nadal
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Mo' Puddin'" CD/LP/Track Review Mo' Puddin'
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "The Whole World Must Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Whole World Must Change
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!