All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

369

Calvin Keys: Vertical Clearance

By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Calvin Keys: Vertical Clearance Guitarist Calvin Keys has accumulated a five-decade career of playing and recording with some of the biggest names in American music. From Omaha, Nebraska to Kansas City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and other stopping points, Keys made the acquaintance of such luminaries as Frank Edwards, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, King Pleasure, Jack McDuff, Damita Jo, Oscar Brown, Jr., Bill Cosby, Tony Bennett, Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine and Donald Byrd.

In 1969, Keys made the move to Los Angeles and recorded his debut as a leader, now long out of print, with drummer Paul Humphrey and organist Billy Osborne. In 1972, Keys recorded Shawn-Neeq for Gene Russell's acclaimed Black Jazz label with Doug and Jean Carn, followed by Proceed With Caution shortly thereafter. An introduction to Ahmad Jamal led to Calvin Keys' membership in Jamal's combo, the first appearance of an electric guitar in the group, for a six-year period which ended in 1980. In 1996, Calvin Keys had quadruple bypass surgery and accomodated his lifestyle to reflect this. He has recorded five albums since the Millennium.

Vertical Clearance offers Keys an opportunity to record with an aggregate seventeen musicians, many of whom are old friends, including organist Doug Carn and Sonny Fortune, one of the three saxophonists. It is essentially a reprise of the soul jazz recordings from the early '70s and his recordings for Black Jazz Records. The music is soulful and funky in the manner of the many recordings that guitarists like Melvin Sparks and Jimmy Ponder recorded during the 1970s and '80s.

The all-original material from this album is reminiscent of the R&B/jazz produced during that era, which remains more complex than today's contemporary jazz (ie. smooth jazz). Sonny Fortune, Paul Hanson and Doug Rowen are heard on saxophones, and vibraphonist Roger Glenn is featured on "Blue D," giving a Cal Tjader feel to the tune.


Track Listing: MRKGY; Spreading Spirit; Unresolved Daydream; Proceed With Caution; Secaucus S.Rutherford; Vertical Clearance; Seven & Sonny Straight Up; Maximum Height; Blue D; Drunk Monk; Last Exit.

Personnel: Calvin Keys: guitar; Ron E. Beck, Darrell Green, Babatunde Lee, Thomas McCree: drums; Sonny Fortune, Paul Hanson, Doug Rowen: saxophones; Roger Glenn: vibes; Gregory Howe: Moog; Hednodic: Beat f; Matt Montgomery, Babek Tondre: bass; Mingo, Jr: congas; Mike Rinta, Phil Ranelin: trombone; Cat Ouano: Rhodes Piano.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Wide Hive Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Vertical Clearance
Vertical Clearance
Wide Hive Records
2006
buy
[no cover]
Maria's First
Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
1987
buy
[no cover]
Full Court Press
Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
1985
buy
[no cover]
Criss Cross
CB Records
1976
buy
[no cover]
Proceed With Caution !
Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
1974
buy
[no cover]
Gee-Gee Part 1 / Part...
Not On Label (Calvin Weston Self-released)
0
buy
Kenny Burrell Kenny Burrell
guitar
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar
Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
guitar
Charlie Hunter Charlie Hunter
guitar, 8-string
Roy Ayers Roy Ayers
vibraphone
Sonny Sharrock Sonny Sharrock
guitar, electric
Doug Carn Doug Carn
keyboard
Terumasa Hino Terumasa Hino
trumpet
Gary Bartz Gary Bartz
sax, alto

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.