165

Joel Frahm: The Navigator

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Joel Frahm: The Navigator Joel Frahm’s second disc as leader has all the trappings of a John Coltrane legacy recording. Sure that’s a heavy burden, but one he proves worthy. Like his 1999 disc Sorry, No Decaf, Frahm mines hard-bop with a self-admission (like Coltrane) that he is not comfortable on up-tempo tunes. Fine, grace not speed signifies great art. Take his version of “My One And Only Love,” the mind jumps directly to Johnny Hartman March 7, 1963 singing the same song alongside Coltrane in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio. Just as Hartman/Coltrane lay down the romance, Frahm spins it into gold, with mature tenor playing beyond his thirty-years.

Frahm is a contemporary of Matt Wilson, Patrick Zimmerli, and Chris Potter. These four young artists are developing distinct voices and solid reputations in the jazz community. Frahm made the acquaintance of bandleader/vocalist Betty Carter before joining drummer Matt Wilson’s band. He distinguished himself on Wilson’s two previous discs Going Once, Going Twice and Smile, and Frahm covers Wilson’s “Hymn (For Don Cherry)” here. “Hymn,” a slow tempo folk-blues, is one of the most memorable jazz tunes written in the past decade and a perfect improvisation vehicle. Like Jeff ‘Tain’ Watt’s "Blutain", it allows for space, contemplation and is a perfect showcase for Frahm’s excitable playing.

Accompanying Frahm are the in-demand session players Billy Drummond and Scott Colley, plus pianist David Berkman. Berkman adds four compositions to this date, plus is a perfect partner to Frahm. As on Berkman’s recent album Communication Theory he proves modern jazz isn’t just a rehashing of the 1960s, but an exercise in the communication of ideas. Together with Frahm, the pair honor John Coltrane not only in sound but in a forward push of the jazz envelope.

Track List:White Bear Speaks; Gradually, I Insert Myself Into The Conversation; Hymn (For Don Cherry); The Navigator; The Shoko Dance; Shards; My One And Only Love; Fort Wayne; Ants; Sister Julie.


Personnel: Joel Frahm

Title: The Navigator | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Dreamsville" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "IZA" CD/LP/Track Review IZA
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Star Gazing" CD/LP/Track Review Star Gazing
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Big Man on Campus" CD/LP/Track Review Big Man on Campus
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 7, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.