Tenor saxophonist Todd Herbert got his first big break with the Charles Earland Quartet. He was also a member of the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. He moved to New York in 1997, played with Tom Harrell and Jimmy Cobb, and led his own groups. It was a stint with Freddie Hubbard that led to this CD. Hubbard called Stan Chovnick, the president of Metropolitan Records and asked him to listen to Herbert's music.
Herbert has enough ideas up his horn to make this an interesting venture. He is intense and exciting on the up tempo tunes and lends a sense of intimacy to the slower ones, making him a player to watch.
Herbert builds a strong narrative on the lengthy "The Temple of Silence. He turns and twists, opening the alleyway with a corkscrew of notes. His finger is on the pulse as he slowly but surely bites down into the groove and infuses it with a tensile strength. As he gets deeper, the spirit of Coltrane rests in his soul. George Colligan (piano) sweeps in with an invigorating array of notes, his runs fluid and harmony secure. Herbert returns in pensive frame, the darker recesses adding a final layer of judicious tautness.
Herbert leaps into "The Eternal Void, his muscularity well-grounded, his intensity riding a high wave. Yet, he shows a sensitivity that broadens his discourse, bringing in a gentle air that builds his vocabulary before he brushes it aside to mark the tune in an animated flourish. Funk captures the opening of "Decision. Herbert rolls it into a swinging blues, the sway augmented by Joe Farnsworth (drums) and John Webber (bass). David Hazeltine gives the blues a deeper hue, his lines cloaked in a lithe body.
Track Listing: The Eternal Void; The Path to Infinity; The Prophetís Oracle; Captain Hubs; Decision; Cosmic Consciousness; Temple of Silence.
Personnel: Todd Herbert: tenor saxophone; George Colligan: piano; Dwayne Burno: bass; Darrin Becket: drums; David Hazeltine: piano (5); Joe Farnsworth: drums (5); John Webber: bass (5).