456

Cedar Walton: Voices Deep Within

By

Sign in to view read count
Cedar Walton: Voices Deep Within Since 2001, Cedar Walton's regular excursions into Rudy Van Gelder's legendary Englewood Cliffs studio for the HighNote label have consistently resulted in some of this century's finest mainstream jazz recordings. On Voices Deep Within he continues the tradition, once again demonstrating the vitality and endurance of (t)his music. Despite his ever growing popularity and critical acclaim (and next month's NEA Jazz Mastership), Walton has not yet been elevated to his deserved place in the pantheon of the greatest jazz pianists—alongside the somewhat senior Horace Silver, who he would eventually succeed in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and the slightly younger McCoy Tyner, who he preceded in recording with John Coltrane. And although this disc is unlikely to bring him the fame that his talent warrants, it will please both dyed-in-the-wool Waltonians and newcomers just beginning to appreciate his artistry.

Walton, a prolific and prodigious composer of memorable melodies, an arranger of uncommon originality and a pianist with an immediately identifiable sound and style, is at his best here. He divides the date between slightly altered versions of his working trio (with Buster Williams sitting in for regular bassist David Williams and Willie Jones III in the drum chair previously occupied by Kenny Washington - Vocals, Lewis Nash and Joe Farnsworth, since the death of longtime Walton colleague Billy Higgins) and quartet (with Vincent Herring eschewing his customary alto saxophone exclusively to play tenor). The saxophonist's dark bittersweet sound is heard to good effect on four tracks, beginning with the opening title piece, a brightly swinging Walton original that recalls his Eastern Rebellion units featuring George Coleman or Bob Berg.

The trio tracks, relaxed readings of Eubie Blake's "Memories Of You" and the leader's own "Dear Ruth," as well as romantic renderings of "Over The Rainbow" and "Naima," showcase Williams' lyrical bass and Jones' remarkably mature work with brushes, along with Walton's uncanny ability to put new twists on familiar material. The album's showpiece is a reworking of his earlier arrangement of "Another Star"—an exciting tour de force that shines a bright light on the pianist's harmonic, melodic and rhythmic genius, with an engaging introductory vamp and countermelody that makes the Stevie Wonder classic his own. Herring's tenor swings melodically on this and two more quartet pieces—the leader's "Something in Common" and Sonny Rollins' "No Moe"—complementing the trio's superb sound nicely.


Track Listing: Voices Deep Within; Memories of You; Another Star; Dear Ruth; Something in Common; Over the Rainbow; Naima; No Moe.

Personnel: Cedar Walton: piano; Vincent Herring: tenor saxophone; Buster Williams: bass; Willie Jones III: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: HighNote Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Pulsation" CD/LP/Track Review Pulsation
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016

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!

Buy it!