203

One For All: The Long Haul

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
One For All: The Long Haul Well, you know what they say. There aren’t any real jazz bands anymore and the opportunities for younger musicians to thrive in a working environment are few and far between. Sure, it’s not what it used to be, but all is really not as bleak as some would want us to believe. Guys like Jason Lindner, Dave Stryker, and the various members of One For All have found it possible to keep integrated units together for a period of time and with some degree of success. In the case of the latter group, it seems even more miraculous that One For All has stayed vital over the span of many years and four albums, two for Sharp Nine and another pair now for Criss Cross. This is because each member of the group maintains active schedules as some of the hottest New York session cats on the planet.

Arguably their finest set to date, One For All’s The Long Haul is another showcase for the collective talents of tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, trombonist Steve Davis, pianist David Hazeltine, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. Regular bassist Peter Washington was not available for the recording session, however Ray Drummond picks up the slack without as much as a blink. Once again, many of the tunes come from the pens of Alexander, Davis, and Hazeltine, with the latter member also providing much of the distinct arranging work that has given this group a distinguishing sound since the beginning.

A spiritual intensity permeates James Farnsworth’s opening number, “A Cry For Understanding,” with Coltrane undertones also in full evidence. Davis contributes a catchy and unforgettable “Echoes of the Night” and adds further proof to the argument that he’s quickly becoming one of our generation’s most formidable composers. His charts are so knotty and out of the ordinary, that Alexander recently told me that the band had informed Steve that “Echoes” was just to difficult to perform live even with the scores on stage. Taken in the odd meter of five, Alexander’s “Stash” is not to be missed, nor are Hazletine’s contributions which include “The Poo” and the funky “Summer Nights.”

Solo statements are strong throughout the set, with Alexander continuing to impress with his contemporary amalgam of influences. Trumpeter Jim Rotondi shouts with a bristling attack akin to the early days of Freddie Hubbard and that whole Blue Note scene. The previously mentioned Davis is solidly in the Curtis Fuller tradition, but has also gone far in establishing his own voice. And let us not forget to give the drummer his dues, as Joe Farnsworth is surely among the greatest drummers on the New York scene. Finally, engineer Max Bolleman captures the sonic verities as skillfully as ever, making for another solid entry in the category of mainstream hard bop worthy of wider attention.


Track Listing: A Cry For Understanding; The Long Haul; Echoes In The Night; The Poo; The Good Life; Stash; Summer Nights; Nothin' To It.

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

Title: The Long Haul | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Criss Cross


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Stranger Days" CD/LP/Track Review Stranger Days
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Of The Musical" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Musical
by Paul Naser
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Avenida Graham" CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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