414

Dave Holland / Gonzalo Rubalcaba / Chris Potter / Eric Harland: The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Holland / Gonzalo Rubalcaba / Chris Potter / Eric Harland: The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival A bonus of festival work is the opportunity to recruit musicians for new collaborations. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does, and when Monterey Jazz Festival Records' General Manager Jason Olaine worked with Vision Arts manager Louise Holland to bring together bass icon Dave Holland, saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Eric Harland and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, it seemed like a match made in heaven.



It was. The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival, culled from its two performances, is filled with compositional invention, high level interaction and energy so joyously alive it seems to burst out of the speakers. Dubbed The Monterey Quartet to reflect the group's egalitarian nature, Holland remains its live spokesperson (heard at the group's 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival performance), but the bassist has always been a democratic leader—one reason why Potter has remained his tenor saxophonist of choice for over a decade. Holland's unshakable playing anchors The Monterey Four, and the preponderance of irregular meters and complex navigations make this album fit more easily within his lengthy discography than, perhaps, that of Potter's or Rubalcaba's, but it is a collective, with no single voice dominant and every one distinctive.



Rubalcaba's Afro-Cuban background is a subtle undercurrent, but in contrast to his own records he's more firmly planted in the modern mainstream. Despite being rhythmically knotty, the pianist's "50" grooves effervescently, his solo combining fluid, motif-driven runs with dynamic chordal passages that become an exciting and clearly spontaneous call-and-response with Harland. "Otra Mirada" may be gentler, but despite its balladic nature it can't help but simmer with an underlying intensity, with another piano solo of effortless and near perfect construction that manages, along with Harland and Holland's equally flowing support, to smooth out its more complex form.



Potter has emerged as one of today's most muscular tenorists. While work with his Underground group, most recently on Ultrahang (ArtistShare, 2009), bristles with electric energy, here in this all-acoustic context his playing is equally electrifying. Winding his way, at high speed, through his two charts—the episodic "Minotaur" and higher octane "Ask Me Why," which also features a stunning closing solo from Harland—Potter's ability to be both powerfully visceral and thematically focused has made him the most obvious legacy carrier of Michael Brecker, though he's less uptown than the late saxophonist.



The always impressive Harland—whose complex, Zakir Hussain-informed polyrhythms drive his opening solo on "Minotaur," has emerged as an equally vital composer. "Treachery" is a powerful modal workout for Rubalcaba and Potter, while "Maiden," with its dark-hued and lyrical opening solo from Holland, is The Monterey Quartet at its most elegant.



Holland is as graceful as ever, the most overtly lyrical composer of the bunch on "Step To It," while playing to his more unfettered side on the intro to his ultimately balladic "Veil of Tears." Brilliantly conceived and just as sharply executed, The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival injects the modern mainstream with some high-powered and forward-thinking action.


Track Listing: Treachery; Minotaur; Otra Mirada; Step To It; Maiden; 50; Veil Of Tears; Spoken Introduction; Ask Me Why.

Personnel: Dave Holland: bass; Gonzalo Rubalcaba: piano; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Eric Harland: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Monterey Jazz Festival Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Porto da Madama" CD/LP/Track Review Porto da Madama
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 25, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 12, 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!