172

Walter Blanding: The Olive Tree

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Walter Blanding: The Olive Tree A new addition to an already heady bunch of tenor stars on Criss Cross, including Walt Weiskopf, Tim Warfield, Seamus Blake, and Ralph Lalama, 28-year-old saxophonist Walter Blanding is making good on the promise he showed back in 1991 on the collective project Tough Young Tenors. His debut as a leader, The Olive Tree, finds Blanding in familiar company, with trumpeter Kisor a buddy from high school and both pianist Farid Barron and bassist Rodney Whitaker chums from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

The writing and overall approach here is akin to Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis circa 1966, with the former’s “Charcoal Blues” even part of the program. One of four originals, Blanding’s own “My Little Sunflower” has a tinge of the suspended animation that marks such Shorter/Davis classics as “Fall” and “Nefertiti.” The title track is far more distinctive, with a Middle Eastern twist to the loping melody.

As a tenor saxophonist, Blanding puts forth a full and robust tone, shone to great advantage on a quartet reading of “Jitterbug Waltz” and a ballad performance of “The Nearness of You.” Kisor more than adds a bit of tonal variety on the tracks that put him on the front line. Furthermore, the rhythm section locks in tight, providing far beyond perfunctory support. Barron, in particular, is an exciting new voice who we’ll hopefully be hearing more of in the future. The same should be said for Blanding who makes a strong maiden voyage here.


Track Listing: Never Too Late, My Little Sunflower, Worry Later, The Olive Tree, Jitterbug Waltz, The Nearness of You, Charcoal Blues, Out of Nowhere, One Day Before Tomorrow (55:34)

Personnel: Walter Blanding- tenor saxophone, Ryan Kisor- trumpet, Farid Barron- piano, Rodney Whitaker- bass, Rodney Green- drums

| Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Juggling Kukla" CD/LP/Track Review Juggling Kukla
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "MG50 Peace & Fire" CD/LP/Track Review MG50 Peace & Fire
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017

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!