276

Herlin Riley: Watch What You're Doing

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Herlin Riley: Watch What You're Doing While I’d hate to be accused of hyperbole, we’ll save a lot of time here if we just cut to the chase. Drummer Herlin Riley’s debut set as a leader is as strong a maiden voyage as anything in recent memory, along with being an early contender for one of the best new jazz releases of 2000. Taking a cue from boss Wynton Marsalis, Riley has assembled a diverse and devastatingly attractive set of nine originals that have been tailored to meet the needs of the ensemble at hand, very much in keeping with Ellington and Marsalis conventions.

Even if you weren’t aware of Riley’s New Orleans heritage, the title track sports a buoyant second-line groove complete with those Southern spices, Victor Goines’ lusty baritone akin to James Carter’s forays on the instrument. Tweak things up a notch and you’ve got the up-tempo burner “New York Walk,” complete with an extended tag that launches some pyrotechnics from Riley at the tune’s conclusion. Creative voicings come your way with soprano sax and muted bone on “Coodie Coo,” an odd-metered line in 7/4. In fact, a break with conventional time signatures continues with “Myrosa’s Mirage” which is in five and with “Soscalalah Blues” which shuffles between a 12/8 groove and a straight ahead 4/4.

As lead voices, Gordon, Goines and Kisor (on two cuts) conjure a robust sound that actually makes this band sound like a larger unit than what it is in reality. The former makes delicious use of various mutes, while the latter develops a distinctive voice on his many saxophones as well as clarinet. Whitaker and Barron form an exceedingly unified team with Riley, whose own well-dispersed solos are musical blockbusters in their own right. But there I go belaboring the point. Grab this disc. It’s a gem; ‘nuff said.


Track Listing: Watch What You

Personnel: Herlin Riley- drums; Ryan Kisor- trumpet (tracks 2 & 4 only), Wycliffe Gordon- trombone; Victor Goines- clarinet, tenor, soprano, & baritone saxophone; Farid Barron- piano; Rodney Whitaker- bass

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "The Motorman's Son" CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "What was said" CD/LP/Track Review What was said
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET 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!

Buy it!