148

Kevin Crabb: Waltz For Dylan

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Kevin Crabb: Waltz For Dylan Drummer Kevin Crabb's name resonates most in drumming and education circles, but this album is all about his playing and composing. When the Los Angeles-based drummer isn't busy teaching, or espousing the virtues of his former teachers in articles for Modern Drummer magazine or elsewhere, he gets behind the kit and puts his extensive musical knowledge to good use within his own songs.

Waltz For Dylan features a tight foursome with a unified mission to serve the songs before all else. Crabb's band takes an all-for-one approach to music making and, while each man is capable of producing compelling solo statements, as demonstrated throughout the album, the real thrill is in the group interaction. This quartet is able to create a strong group identity on this nine song program, despite the fact that the music itself isn't unified in a stylistic sense. Upbeat, Latin-leaning music ("Nightscape"), standard issue, mellow swing ("River Sticks"), contemplative aural reverie ("Flight"), and several other strains of sound comfortably coexist and complement one another.

Saxophonist Kelly Jefferson often serves as the beacon of melodic direction for this band, but pianist John Beasley is at the center of this group's sound. He brings a light, yet firm, touch to the piano, and he's continually impressive, whether trading solos with Crabb ("Ecology"), taking a trip on his own, laying down an impressionistic introduction ("Flight"), or simply comping in compelling fashion. While both men help to breathe life into Crabb's compositions, neither one overshadows the drummer. Crabb's drumming is a touchstone of understated taste and, like bassist Don Thompson, he works his way into the conversations instead of simply working beneath them.

The manner in which Crabb plays actually makes it worth re-evaluating the very idea of a "drummer's record." If this term is simply synonymous with speed, chops, rhythmic complexity and intensity, then this album wouldn't fit the bill, but fewer and fewer musicians use those ideals as a measuring stick for drumming quality. Touch, taste, and the ability to wholly integrate oneself into the musical make-up of song, while moving beyond the role of a mere timekeeper, is the benchmark for drumming quality today and, by those standards, Waltz For Dylan is as much a "drummer's record" as anything out there.

Track Listing: Ecology; Unbelievable But True; It Could Happen Flight; Spirit Dance; Snow; River Sticks; Nightscape; Waltz For Dylan.

Personnel: Kelly Jefferson: saxophone; John Beasley: piano; Don Thompson: bass; Kevin Crabb: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Intermission" CD/LP/Track Review Intermission
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Pineapples and Ashtrays" CD/LP/Track Review Pineapples and Ashtrays
by James Nadal
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Arrhythmia" CD/LP/Track Review Arrhythmia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!