3.Espresso Crescent [6:45]
4.Choro Dançado [5:50]
7.Eel Thye Deeflat [7:35}
9. Man in The Black Hat [7:45]
Torben Waldorf: Guitar
Donny McCaslin: Tenor Saxophone
Sam Yahel: Piano, Fender Rhodes,Organ
Matt Clohesy: Bass
Jon Wilkan: Drums, Percussion
All selections composed by Torben Waldorf
(Except #4 by Maria Schneider and #9 by Jon
Wilkan #6 written soli by Joel Miller.)
There is some very classy
playing on this CD.
Donny McCaslin produces some
of the most pleasing sounds I have heard from
a tenor saxophone. The tone has no hint of
the ‘rootie-tootie frog-in-the-throat’ sound
that some tenor players seem to favor. He
has a huge range and is also capable of some
very nippy passage-work which shows he has
a lot of technique.
Sometimes I felt that the
hours of exercises he must have practiced
to get to this level of mastery came straight
back in some of his solos, and he was forced
to retreat into the technical stuff whilst
he re-charged his musical battery for his
Sam Yahel’s keyboard work
is discreet and effective. It is all too easy
to swamp everyone with an organ or the vibrant
ever vibrating Fender Rhodes. Everything was
very sympathetic and you can almost hear him
listening when he is backing his soloists.
His own solos are well-controlled
and neatly executed with a good sense of the
style of his keyboards. His playing in Track
8 is particularly good to listen to.
Matt Clohesy finds a nice
line for his bass and although sometimes I
found his tuning alongside the guitar was
not always entirely happy, he showed good
choice of where to put those all too essential
Jon Wilkan is the ideal Drummer/percussionist
for this kind of music.
There are no harsh crashes
from cymbals full of rivets or oversized bass
drums with hardened pedal devices. However
I did wonder if the excellent engineering
of Jon Rosenburg and Max Ross may have eliminated
any walloping indiscretions.
Torben Waldorf’s compositions
are always good enough for the musicians to
get their teeth into when it comes to solos,
and as a guitar player, he too must have done
a lot of practice before taking his technique
into improvisation. Generally the music goes
somewhere and there is minimum meandering
in this quietly purposeful playing.
I was curious about track
Was this the "Skyliner"
that used to terrify small, local, live bands
in bygone days when requested by Kenton enthusiasts?
No, it was not. It is an
original composition that moves along beautifully
overlaid by some multi rhythms. It offered
many of the same challenges as its original
namesake and the musicians all made the most
of their opportunities. The descending scale
that keeps coming back never sounded forced
or corny, which was a tribute to judgment
All the tracks on this CD
have something to offer and it is good Jazz
even if it gets a shade mechanical now and
again as the musicians feel for their next
But why on track 6 are the
soli written by Joel Miller?
They must be the very devil
to read and this calls into question,
"Are written solos Jazz?"
Followed by the purists’
"If it isn’t a live
improvisation, it’s not jazz"
And this CD reviewer’s reply,
"It sounded like Jazz
to me, but then I can’t see what is going
on and I would like to hear this group live."