177

Wayne Escoffery: Uptown

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Wayne Escoffery: Uptown Bob Mintzer, Kirk Whalum and Ada Rovatti are just a few of today's stunning tenor sax players. Wayne Escoffery can be added to their company.

Escoffery, 34, is a native of London who moved to the United States with his mother at an early age. He enjoyed singing, and was a member of the New Haven Trinity Boys Choir in Connecticut. He eventually turned to the saxophone, and has performed with a diverse array of bandleaders and ensembles, including Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb and the Carolyn Leonhart Group. On Uptown, he is accompanied by Avi Rothbard on guitar, Gary Versace on organ and Jason Brown on drums.

"No Desert," one of three songs written by Rothbard, jumps out of the gate with Versace's organ setting the pace. Brown scores some nice snare rolls between lines. Escoffery rips it up on the tenor, at times bellowing out phrases from the instrument's lower register. Rothbard and Versace join in adding their respective voices in their own solos.

"Cross Bronx" is another high-energy Rothbard piece. After Escoffery's lead at the start of the song, the guitarist takes point. Brown and Versace step up in the action, but remain in the background. Escoffery's middle solo involves a bouncy series of rolling phrases, while Versace attracts attention as well in his solo maneuver.

Versace opens "Road from Eilat" without accompaniment. Brown, Escoffery and Rothbard come in. The music has a Middle Eastern feel, appropriate given that the song is named after a city in Egypt. However, once Escoffery warms up, the flavor becomes unbridled improv. At one point, he strikes a series of notes that make the tenor buzz. During the opening and closing melodies, the music conjures a vision of desert travel.

Seven of the nine songs on Uptown were written by members of the quartet which turns this album in an original blend of talents.

Track Listing: No Desert; I Got It Bad; Cross Bronx; You Know I Care; Road from Eilat; Gulf of Aqaba; Nu Soul; Maya's Waltz; Easy Now.

Personnel: Wayne Escoffery: tenor saxophone; Avi Rothbard: guitar; Gary Versace: organ; Jason Brown: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Stripped" CD/LP/Track Review Stripped
by James Nadal
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "The AV Club" CD/LP/Track Review The AV Club
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Windows" CD/LP/Track Review Windows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017

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!