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

Title: Time Is Of The Essence | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" CD/LP/Track Review Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Chant" CD/LP/Track Review Chant
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Another Place, Another Time" CD/LP/Track Review Another Place, Another Time
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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