Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
304

Michael Brecker: Time Is Of the Essence

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Brecker: Time Is Of the Essence Able to successfully straddle the divide between mainstream jazz and its more commercial factions, Michael Brecker has had a successful run on Impulse since his self-titled debut in 1987. Now that the label has been swallowed up by the newly-formed conglomerate, the Verve Music Group, Brecker retains his contract and makes his debut on Verve with Time Is Of the Essence, a smart package that will please his legion of fans and just might twist the ears of others in tune with Brecker's stellar sidemen.

A savvy decision in light of the current renaissance regarding the jazz organ combo, Brecker puts himself in the company of organist Larry Goldings. As a bit of added intrigue, he then decides to throw guitarist Pat Metheny into the mix, along with the alternation of drummers Bill Stewart, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and Elvin Jones on various tracks. This all pays off big time with a street-smart and generous set of originals provided by Brecker, Goldings, Metheny, and producer George Whitty.

Brecker and Metheny, of course, are no strangers, appearing on each other's albums a few times over the years. They voice lines together extremely well. A prime example of this is Metheny's "Timeline," which has a tricky off-beat syncopation to its melody, creating a beguiling tension that is amply fueled by Jones' incendiary drumming. Brecker's solos often rely on his commanding use of tonal manipulation, complete with the characteristic honks and wails. Much like the late Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Brecker's style is based on the idea that what's more important is not "what" you say but "how" you say it. As for the rotation of the three drummers, each one has his own way of laying down a beat, yet Stewart is more in-sync with Goldings as he's a regular member of the organist's group.

Nothing all that revelatory occurs here, but there's more than enough groove food to keep you hoppin'. There's also something to be said for a project of all- stars that comes off this well and without all the pretense that usually surrounds such events.


Track Listing: Arc of the Pendulum, Sound Off, Half Past Late, Timeline, The Morning of This Night, Renaissance Man, Dr. Slate, As I Am, Outrance (69:31)

Personnel: Michael Brecker- tenor saxophone; Pat Metheny- guitar; Larry Goldings- organ; Elvin Jones, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Bill Stewart- drums

| Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Rediscovery
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live in Helsinki 1995
Live in Helsinki 1995
Random Act Records
2015
buy
[no cover]
Two Blocks From The...
Creative Sources
2007
buy
[no cover]
The Tales From The...
Creative Sources
2007
buy
Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
Heads Up International
2007
buy
Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage
Michael Brecker:...
Heads Up International
2007
buy
Wide Angles
Wide Angles
Verve Music Group
2003
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Chris Potter Chris Potter
reeds
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Joe Henderson Joe Henderson
sax, tenor
Randy Brecker Randy Brecker
trumpet
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Bob Mintzer Bob Mintzer
saxophone

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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