340

Randy Sandke: Unconventional Wisdom

By

Sign in to view read count
Randy Sandke: Unconventional Wisdom Listening to a tune like "Chega de Saudade," the ninth tune on trumpeter Randy Sandke's Unconventional Wisdom, there's the feeling that this quartet session is from a recorded concert: the honest, joyous drive of the rhythm section, the trumpet singing Jobim's melody and the guitar supporting it with clear harmonies that are rhythmically in sync. Yet, this turns out to be a well thought-out program of tunes that benefits from the pristine sound quality obtained in a studio environment.

Diverse yet focused, the 14 tracks of Unconventional Wisdom display not only a great trumpet player, an interesting composer and strong leader but also the expansive talents of his band mates, the most dramatic example being that of Nicki Parrott, a solid, swinging bassist who also sings. Moving from a smokin' up-tempo version of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" to Parrott's vocals on "Django" (a Sandke original based on Debussy's "Reverie"), the effect is of a band that sounds bigger than just its four musicians.

With "Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye," Cole Porter's beautiful ballad melody is rendered first with trumpet in Eb and then modulates to G for Parrott's breathy voice, Howard Alden's guitar accompaniment and John Riley's brush work in perfect balance with the featured instruments. To say that Bill Evans' compositional work was overshadowed by his piano playing would be quite an understatement, yet "Funkallero" does pop up from time to time. Here the quartet plays the 16-bar tune with a medium-slow Latin grove with wonderful solos by Alden and Sandke, but it's Parrott's solo with deep and honest blues inflections that makes this track a must hear.

Unconventional Wisdom presents five varied Sandke originals complemented by tunes from Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin and Marty Napoleon. Besides the aforementioned "Django," "Nicki's Journey" is reminiscent of early George Russell and "December Down" portrays a bittersweet month with double-edged harmony. Don't try to force Randy Sandke into a simple category of jazz: he has a lot to offer to the open-minded listener.

Track Listing: Just One of Those Things; Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye; Meta Blue; New Orleans; The Best Thing For You; Nicki's Journey; Django's Dream; Little Bix; Chega de Saudade; December Down; For All We Know; We're in Love; Funkarello; Toyland.

Personnel: Randy Sandke: trumpet: flugelhorn; Howard Alden: guitar; Nicki Parrott: bass: vocals; John Riley: drums.

Title: Unconventional Wisdom | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Arbors Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Tales From Under" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From Under
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Fellowship" CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Day After Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Sus" CD/LP/Track Review Sus
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 9, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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