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
144

Wycliffe Gordon Quintet: United Soul Experience

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count Views
Wycliffe Gordon Quintet: United Soul Experience The brainchild of producer Gerry Teekens, United Soul Experience extricates trombonist Wycliffe Gordon from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra orbit and teams him with some of the most interesting young talent in the Criss Cross stable. Tradition-minded but not predictable, the music alludes to several jazz and funk styles without settling into any one of them. Gordon, tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, and pianist David Kikoski play like accomplished young veterans who continue to search for something more. Bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart generate a circuitous kind of swing, stating a pulse and deconstructing it in the same instance. The leader’s five compositions evince memorable melodies and impose just the right amount of organization to the band’s loose-jointed execution.

Stewart’s ability to go in two directions at once without losing focus distinguishes “Get It! Get It!” from conventional hard bop. The rhythm section drops out for a portion of Gordon’s gutsy, authoritative solo, and he carries on in a manner that suggests they’re still with him. An active, funky line with a bustling undertow, Blake’s “In Flight” includes a turn by the composer that expands until he climaxes with upper-register cries reminiscent of a whistling teakettle. “Everyday,” Gordon’s plaintive ballad features the trombonist and Blake playing portions of the melody separately and in unison. During a beautifully realized performance, the piece accommodates four soloists with different points of view, yet doesn’t feel strained or overdone.

Leaning on Grenadier’s purposeful bass line, Stewart constructs a decidedly non-linear solo on “Corey’s Competition.” Maintaining absolute control over all four limbs while working the set from top to bottom, he jams disparate ideas into 20 bars or so. Nonetheless Stewart manages to shape everything into a coherent whole. Arranged for just the bass and muted trombone, Ellington’s “Low Key Lightly” makes a nice, easygoing ending to an excellent recording. The duo ambles along minus any hint of virtuosic intent. Grenadier buttresses Gordon’s vocal-like playing and contributes an elegant, unaccompanied solo.


Track Listing: 1. Get It! Get It!; 2. Karen's Contemplation; 3. In Flight; 4. Everyday; 5. Corey's Competition; 6. Periwinkle; 7. On The Spot; 8. Low Key Lightly

Personnel: Wycliffe Gordon--trombone; Seamus Blake--tenor sax; David Kikoski--piano; Larry Grenadier--bass; Bill Stewart--drums

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Criss Cross | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Read more articles
[no cover]
Cone And T-Staff
Criss Cross Jazz
2010
buy
This Rhythm On My Mind
This Rhythm On My Mind
Bluesback Records
2007
buy
We 2
We 2
WJ3 Records
2007
buy
[no cover]
This Rhythm On My Mind
Criss Cross Jazz
2006
buy
Cone's Coup
Cone's Coup
Criss Cross
2006
buy
In the Cross
In the Cross
Criss Cross
2005
buy
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
J.J. Johnson J.J. Johnson
trombone
Slide Hampton Slide Hampton
trombone
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Gordon Goodwin Gordon Goodwin
composer/conductor
Frank Rosolino Frank Rosolino
trombone
Roswell Rudd Roswell Rudd
trombone
Nicholas Payton Nicholas Payton
trumpet

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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