Myron Walden is a refreshing, individualistic alto saxophonist, perhaps the most original player on his instrument to come along since Kenny Garrett. Walden's sound, plaintive, shot through with a bluesy wail, is fully his own; there's nothing quite like it in jazz today. He takes lots of chances, often leaping outside the changes or bursting into swirling clusters of notes, but he never forgets to swing.
On This Way, Walden uses an instrumentation he apparently favors: a front line of alto and tenor sax and a rhythm section of bass and drums, with no chording instrument. Jimmy Greene brings his husky-toned tenor to these proceedings, adding much to the music. He swings hard and his rapport with Walden is deep. On "Sooner Than Later," a burning variation on "Sweet Georgia Brown," Greene pounces on Walden's final phrase as if he had played it himself, then charges into his own solo. The moment is electrifying and the continuity of musical thought is quite impressive.
In addition, this album benefits from Walden's pen. It consists entirely of Walden originals, all of which manifest structural and harmonic interest. There's an emphasis on cooking, with medium and fast tempos predominating. There are some Latin grooves, lots of hard swing, and only one ballad, the poignant "Too Far To Turn Back." Walden and Greene devour this material, roaring through their solos and never letting up. When Walden begins his solo on the fast "3 Up 4 Down," bassist Vicente Archer lays out, leaving only drummer E.J. Strickland to accompany the altoist. Walden and Strickland rise to the occasion with powerful interaction, generating heat, light, and excitement.
What Goes Up Must Come Down, Right Here, 3 Up 4 Down, Swamp Thing, Too Far To Turn Back, Like I See It, Sooner Than Later, Descent From The Clouds.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.