272

Watts, Christlieb and Woodard: The Tenor Trio

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Watts, Christlieb and Woodard: The Tenor Trio In his book Jazz For Beginners, Ron David says that nobody really loves jazz. "People love Miles or Dixieland or Free Jazz or Fusion or two, three or four of the above — but nobody loves jazz. It's too varied."

Truer words were never written. I like to think of myself as a lover of all kinds of jazz, but when it really comes down to it, I prefer swing, bop, fusion, and anything that smacks of the blues. Sure I relate to Miles, Coltrane and Ornette, but they appeal more to my brain than my viscerals. Basie, Blakey and Metheny hit me right in the gut.

Since The Tenor Trio bops and swings simultaneously, here's one CD that really presses my buttons. The Tenor Trio consists of saxmen Ernie Watts, Pete Christlieb and Ricky Woodard. Once his cushy gig on the Tonight Show ended, Watts quickly became a respected mainstream player with a succession of fine albums. Christlieb is a lesser known but no less capable Tonight Show alum. Woodard has blown his sax for Ray Charles and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra. These three pros engage in some friendly but ferocious battles on this superbly arranged 10-track release.

There are no originals here, but the saxmen put their collaborative stamp on some well-chosen chestnuts. The three saxophones blend beautifully, the solos are intensely competitive, and terrific backup is provided by pianist Gerry Wiggins, bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Frank Capp. Tunes include Horace Silver's "Strollin'," Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas," Benny Moten's "Moten Swing," and Neil Hefti's "Little Pony."

The Tenor Trio delivers graceful, joyous bop that's never dissonant. Mainstream jazz seldom sounds this catchy.


Title: The Tenor Trio | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: JVC


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Trinity One" CD/LP/Track Review Trinity One
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "All Terrain Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review All Terrain Guitar
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 1, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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