420

Tom Harrell: Wise Children

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Tom Harrell: Wise Children Adding four exceptional vocalists to his program, trumpeter Tom Harrell takes the listener on a journey through time and space. Contemporary world music, 30-year-old funk, swinging stage band arrangements, and the burning presence of his horn, color Harrell’s program with authority. The ten pieces are his compositions. The quintet, which includes Jimmy Greene, Xavier Davis, Ugonna Okegwo and Quincy Davis, provides a firm foundation upon which the trumpeter and special guests stand confidently.

While Harrell and his guests are in top form, the program seems designed to discourage heightened emotion. Between the composer’s mellow ballads with strings and his lackluster band arrangements, the leader’s 20th album as leader takes a different path than his more successful ventures. The only flicker of fiery emotion comes through “Heavens,” where flute and flugelhorn play slightly out of tune in a “Desafinado” kind of affair. Davis’ lyrical piano phrases assist in interpreting the piece’s intended spirit of soaring originality, but the counterpoint is put in a holding pattern for so long that it begins to tire. Several funk pieces invite the magnetism of foot-tapping and shoulder- shaking rhythms, but they wander in circles without reaching a conclusion.

Key soloists on the session give the program a considerable lift. Gil Goldstein and Antoine Silverman bring a bright sheen to “Paz.” Saxophonists Myron Walden and Jimmy Greene strut around several high points. Marvin Sewell swings “See You at Seven” with a veteran’s blues wisdom. Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Jane Monheit share sadder moments with the trumpeter. Claudia Acuña’s interpretation of “Radiant Moon” carries brighter overtones, which, however, are still somewhat restrained. Harrell’s title track carries with it a processional majesty with funereal direction. Timeless in its expressed capacity for intuitive imagery, the piece summarizes this album as a journey, void of adventure and filled with reflective musings.


Track Listing: Paz; Straight to My Heart; Kalimba; Radiant Moon; What will They Think of Next; Snow; Heavens; See You at Seven; Leaves; Wise Children.

Personnel: Tom Harrell- trumpet, flugelhorn, balafon; Jimmy Greene- tenor saxophone, flute; Xavier Davis- piano, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, kalimba; Ugonna Okegwo- bass; Quincy Davis- drums; Antoine Silverman, Cenovia Cummins- violin; Juliet Haffner- viola; Daniel Miller, Jeffrey Szabo- cello; Gil Goldstein- accordion; John Clark, Vincent Chauncey- French horn; Mondre Moffett, Kamau Adilifu- trumpet; Luis Bonilla- tenor trombone; Douglas Purviance- bass trombone; Howard G.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: BMG | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Brass Tactics" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Tactics
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Forage" CD/LP/Track Review Forage
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Honey For The Biscuit" CD/LP/Track Review Honey For The Biscuit
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 27, 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!