119

One for All: Too Soon to Tell

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Having reviewed last month Optimism, the second Sharp Nine release by One for All, the New York–based co–op sextet patterned after Art Blakey’s celebrated Jazz Messengers, we must beg your indulgence as we backtrack a year to appraise its debut session, recorded in February ’97 by the eminent Rudy Van Gelder (whose apparently escalating faith in greater reverb is somewhat misplaced). Personnel is unchanged, as is the group’s impassioned point of view. In spite of the rather self–effacing title, it’s hardly too soon to tell you, the reader and potential listener, that these are six of the most accomplished and emphatic young neo–boppers in the Big Apple or anywhere else. If the Messengers were still around, this is probably quite close to what they’d sound like. While it may be hard to imagine anyone completely filling Blakey’s enormous shoes, Farnsworth has more than a few Bu–like drum rolls up his sleeve and kicks the group along in splendid fashion. Washington, pianist Tommy Flanagan’s bassist of choice, and Hazeltine complete a purposeful and close–knit rhythm section that never lets the music drag or falter. The front–liners, meanwhile, blend well together (several of the voicings are truly enchanting), and each one is an intrepid soloist as well — Rotondi the fiery triple–tonguing aggressor, Davis the Fuller–style acrobat, Alexander the muscular clean–up batter in the volcanic image of his main man, George Coleman. Like many of Blakey’s sidemen, these guys double as composer/arrangers, and fare well in that department too. Rotondi contributed the buoyant Messengers–like opener, “Too Soon to Tell” and the flag–waving “Stranger Than Fiction.” Alexander wrote the minor–key “Blues for All,” Davis the modal waltz “Visionary” and Hazeltine the up–tempo closer, “Captain’s Song.” Hazeltine set “Alfie” to a brisk Latin beat and scored “Betcha By Golly Wow,” while Alexander arranged his earnest ballad feature, Sammy Cahn’s “Dedicated to You.” A superb collaborative effort that is easily recommended to partisans

Track listing: Too Soon to Tell; Alfie; Stranger Than Fiction; Dedicated to You; Blues for All; Betcha By Golly Wow; Visionary; Captain’s Song (60:00).

Personnel:

Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Jim Rotondi, trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Davis, trombone; David Hazeltine, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Joe Farnsworth, drums.

| Record Label: Sharp Nine Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Factory Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Factory Girl
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Dobbeltgaeenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaeenger
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!