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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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CEDAR WALTON

One Flight Down

HighNote HCD7157

 

 


  1. One Flight Down
  2. The Rubber Man
  3. Lush Life
  4. Daydream
  5. Raincheck
  6. Seven Minds
  7. Time After Time
  8. Hammer Head
  9. Little Sunflower
     
    Cedar Walton - Piano
    Vincent Herring - Tenor (Tracks 1&2)
    David Williams - Bass
    Joe Farnsworth - Drums
     
     
    Cedar Walton was around along time before he received the status he so richly deserves, this may be because he was such a superb backing player in the bands of

J J Johnson, Art Blakey, Art Farmer, Benny Golson and Miles Davis and that like all the best accompanists, he went unnoticed! In more recent years he has recorded some 60 albums, all of which are well worth listening to, but this one is a gem. He has mellowed with age and experience and without doubt, he would rank in most people’s top five living pianists.

The remaining musicians on the record are no less important, Vincent Herring is usually heard on Alto, but he plays Tenor on the first two tracks with great conviction.

Bass player David Williams and Drummer Joe Farnsworth are just perfect for their role in completing the trio featured on the remainder of the album. The first two tracks with Herring are Walton originals and very interesting they are, tuneful and rhythmic at the same time.

Tracks 3,4&5 are Duke Ellington, Billie Strayhorn tunes that demand a lot from the performer, particularly Lush Life, which has been the downfall of many a sub-standard performer. Cedar is in sparkling form here and both the drumming and bass playing is as good as you will ever hear. Sam Jones composition Seven Minds comes next, it, it was originally written for a bass choir project, but it makes a superb jazz vehicle in the hands of the trio with David Williams leading the way on bass. Time After Time, the Sammy Khan standard is taken faster than usual and it makes a great jazz piece at this tempo. Hammer Head is a Wayne Shorter composition, Cedar remembered it from the time when they were both in the Jazz Messengers, apparently it is a recent addition to the trio library and a good one. The last track is another which has a connection with one of Cedar’s previous band’s Freddie Hubbard’s Sun Flower.

This is the best jazz trio album I have heard in a long time, with the bonus of a couple of fine quartet tracks with Vincent Herring. The sound quality is absolutely out of this world and the sleeve note from Thomas Conrad, is most informative.

HighNote have come up with the real deal here as far as jazz is concerned. My advice is buy it, you won’t be disappointed!

Don Mather



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