Randy Sandke - leader, trumpet, flugelhorn ; Scott Robinson - soprano,
baritone & contra-bass saxophones, flute, bass clarinet, theremin;
Marty Erlich - soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto flute;
Ken Peplowski - clarinet, tenor saxophone; Ray Anderson - trombone;
Wycliffe Gordon - trombone; Uri Caine - piano; Greg Cohen - bass;
Dennis Mackrell - drums.
Recorded on January 17 & 18, 2000 at Atavar Studios, NYC, by David
1. Like I Said
2. Creole Love Call
3. Simple Pleasure
4. Comet Call
5. Whispers In The Night
6. Sisyphus Effect
7. Inside Out
8. Plumbing The Depths
9. Sforzando ( for Blair and Carol Brown )
11. Sam Bone
12. Tripianti Di Scimmia
I must confess to being unfamiliar with the work of many of the musicians
to be found on this recording. While I have read about their exploits
in such worthy publications as Downbeat and our own Jazzwise I have
never, to date, investigated this particular area of contemporary
jazz. I can only state that it has been my loss and that it is an
oversight I intend to rectify with some urgency. This disc is sheer
delight. There is a feeling for tradition at the same time as there
is a tremendous sense of humour . It can only be described as Ellington
meets Monk meets Gillespie meets Mingus meets Braxton with a healthy
dose of originality for good measure. Perhaps this is the direction
some of the afore-mentioned worthies might have been heading in if
they were still active today.
The instrumentation on this disc is highly unusual - where else could
one hear clarinets, trumpet, trombones, all of the saxes including
bass sax and theremin ? However this is not an attempt to dazzle the
listener purely through odd combinations of sounds, each horn is used
to its best advantage and often to its absolutely full potential.
The trombones have rediscovered their slides and the higher woodwind
are played in a wonderfully liquid manner, all very reminiscent of
music from earlier times.
I have spent a great deal of time preparing a track by track analysis
of this session but now find it to be totally inadequate and superfluous
- the only way to really appreciate this release is to buy it and
wallow in the originality of this select group of players. Surely
this recording is far more indicative of the future of Jazz than many
of the pseudo-bop extravaganzas that are being churned out by the
major labels with a predictable sense of monotony.
The music contained here ranges from ensembles that would sound correct
if played by Mingus or Joe Lovano to Ellington a la "Such Sweet
Thunder" to glorious Samba rhythms featuring the two trombones
in humorous mode replete with lip slurs, growls, rasps and an absolute
feeling of abandonment and joy. It would be unfair to single out soloists,
everyone contributes to the highest level and manages to make their
personal style a worthy addition to the overall blend.
Perhaps the highlight for me is the off the wall take on "Creole
Love Call" - here the leader gives a glorious off key rendition
of the Bubber Miley solo that somehow fits to perfection and the theremin
produces the wordless vocal ( in the liner it is referred to as "the
instrument that swallowed Adelaide Hall " ). This disc is amazing
and would certainly be one of my records of the year.