288

One for All: The Lineup

Ken Kase By

Sign in to view read count
One for All: The Lineup Time was when jazz history was measured in terms of linear progress as artists influenced each other to create new sounds. Jazz, it has been said, fed off of itself in a constant state of progression, pushing the music to its limits. But times have changed, and this construct has been revised several times over as legions of musicians found their inspiration in established jazz styles and stuck with them.

The Lineup is the eleventh release by One for All, a group of esteemed and virtuosic instrumentalists. The eight tracks on this release personify the hard bop ethos, but that feeling of being stuck in time is relieved by the freshness of the compositions and the outstanding musicianship throughout. No matter what the genre, nothing can replace the exuberance exhibited by musicians who clearly love what they're doing.

Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander turns in two fine compositions: "Anatolia," which features his robust tone and restless manner of his playing, and the immensely appealing "Little Lucas," which recalls Wayne Shorter's early compositions for the Jazz Messengers and features trumpeter Jim Rotondi in a Harmon-muted solo. His playing, while rooted in the hard bop tradition, is nonetheless distinctive, and his performance is playful and understated.

Rotondi presents two compositions: "Downtown Sounds," which bears the hallmark of Herbie Hancock's late-'60s/early-'70s period and features an adventurous open horn solo over a Latin-infused groove as pianist David Hazeltine switches to the Fender rhodes for a retro yet vibrant feel. "Express Train" features complex but accessible harmonic and rhythmic shifts and displays Rotondi's beautiful tone.

Trombonist Steve Davis contributes a lovely ballad, "Letter to Mary" and "Smooth," a track which oozes with late-sixties R&B-influenced cool. Pianist David Hazeltine's "The Lineup" is a true swinging period piece that follows the hard bop blueprint with fine performances from the entire sextet. But one longs to hear his keyboard contributions a bit more up front throughout the album, which are quite good, if you listen for them. The least appealing track is their version of the old standard "Sweet and Lovely." While finely executed, it lacks the excitement of the band's originals and brings a corresponding sag in texture.

For many jazz fans, this type of music is the be-all and end-all—the very essence of what constitutes jazz. Lucky for them that this release stands above a seemingly endless stream of releases that attempt to mine the past with less successful results. Straight-ahead zealots deserve nothing less than the very best of what they enjoy, and they'll find that in spades on The Lineup, and indeed on most of One for All's releases.

Track Listing: Anatolia; Little Lucas; Sweet And Lovely; Downtown Sounds; Letter To Mary; The Lineup; Express Train; Smooth.

Personnel: Eric Alexander: tenor sax; Jim Rotondi: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Davis: trombone; David Hazeltine: piano; John Webber: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Title: The Lineup | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sharp Nine Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
by James Nadal
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp" CD/LP/Track Review The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "A Secret Sigh" CD/LP/Track Review A Secret Sigh
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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