119

One for All: Too Soon to Tell

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
One for All: Too Soon to Tell 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.

Title: Too Soon to Tell | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Sharp Nine Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Flying Machines" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Machines
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "The Happiest Man In The World" CD/LP/Track Review The Happiest Man In The World
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!