Recorded live at The Manhattan Center in New York on October 17, 1998 and produced by Rob Walls & Paul Siegel for Hudson Music, Ltd., under exclusive license to Stretch Records, Inc., this innovative quartet comes together with a wallop. Each of the foursome is an experienced leader, and each artist meets the criteria of Chick Corea’s Stretch label. The session is adventuresome, modern, and of high quality.
Each member of the quartet supplied two compositions for this performance. Bob Mintzer leads the ensemble with a wide-open attitude toward solo space, while John Abercrombie matches that spirit with several different guitar textures. Building a solo, particularly on Peter Erskine’s "Bass Desires," each melody-maker starts out quietly and builds gradually, heating up degree by degree. Similarly, Erskine demonstrates the effectiveness of starting his solo as minimalism and building ever so gradually. However, since he’s turning the spotlight over to John Patitucci’s acoustic bass, Erskine saves it for the end of the piece, where the ensemble comes together and sets the house on fire. The bassist, who plays both acoustic and electric models on the session, prefers to caress a melody rather than shout it out. Introducing his melody on "The Well" with stand-up bass, Patitucci delivers in a vocal manner with emotion before launching a riff over which "the horns" improvise. Erskine composed "Cats + Kittens" with a modified Bo Diddley beat so that electric bass and drums can lay down a solid foundation over which a wild electric guitar improvises. Mintzer’s up-tempo "Modern Day Tuba" takes a samba beat out into the streets, providing a fitting way to end the program. Members of this quartet come from different backgrounds; yet, they share in what they do on stage with mutual appreciation. The result is an outstanding performance.
Track Listing: Runferyerlife; Labor Day; Little Swing; Cats + Kittens; The Well; Bass Desires; That
Personnel: Bob Mintzer- tenor saxophone; John Abercrombie- guitar; John Patitucci- bass; Peter Erskine- drums.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.