Skip to main content

CD Review - "Quartette Humaine", Bob James / David Sanborn

1984, twenty-nine years ago, two well established jazz stars coordinated their schedules so they could record together. The result was the highly successful "Double Vision" CD. This was before "smooth jazz" had earned such a negative connotation. These two are back with a new recording, their status now solidly established as two of the elder statesmen of the music. The younger, brash sound of these upstart musicians climbing the ladder of jazz notoriety is still present. 

It's rounded out now years of mastering their respective instruments. There is a touch and sensitivity to the ballads that puts the listener in an emotional and mental state of their own choosing. Rounding out the quartet (formed with intent to emulate the legendary Dave Brubeck quartets) are James Genus on bass, and Steve Gadd on drums. Genus anchors the groove, while Gadd provides just the right dynamics. The music is exciting, contemplative, adventurous, and reflective.

This is music from another time, but very much today. They kick things off with the carefree, swingin' "You Better Not Go To College". It's. tasty track that serves as a warmup of things to come. Then comes the captivating Geste Humaine, which grabs your attention within the first few bars, and never lets go. This group glides through the tracks with the seamless finesse only a veteran group can bring.

They work through a number of new compositions by both James and Sanborn, with the free-wheeling style brought about by a veteran quartet in a live, studio recording. “Another Time, Another Place” was a standout track on Sanborn’s 2005 Release, “Closer”. The updated version by this band takes an already exotic gem to a whole different space. So much so, you could play both tracks, back to back, and feel two different vibes. From beautiful ballads like Sanborn’s “Sofia”, to the near baroque, intricate romp of James’ “Follow Me”, you can tell these guys are having a great time. It comes through on stage that way too. If you have a chance to catch them on their current tour, jump on it. In the meantime, enjoy this great release.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Essential Tracks: "African Skies", Album: "Tales From The Hudson", Michael Brecker, 1996

Essential tracks highlights tracks that arguably should be found somewhere in any serious jazz collector's library. This segment is also meant to inspire readers to seek out foundational tracks from the various sub-genres of this great music. "African Skies" from the Impulse Record release "Tales from the Hudson", 1996 You'd be hard pressed to find a track from Michael Brecker that wouldn't be considered an essential track. This release came after a year hiatus in recordings from Brecker, and was the beginning of a phenomenal run of outstanding recordings. Already an established, though probably under-appreciated giant of the saxophone, this released caused the jazz world to collectively take notice. Personnel on "African Skies" besides Brecker: Pat Metheny on guitar, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Dave Holland on bass, MyCoy Tyner on piano, and Don Alias on percussion. #Jazz

Jazz 500 - An Overdue Personal Project

Hello again. First, I must apologize for being away for so long. I wish I had more of an excuse to give you, but the fact is, sometimes life just gets in the way. In any case, I’m back just in time for the heart of the festival season. Next up for me is the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. We have our tickets in hand, and can’t wait for this, the 61st edition, of the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world. In the meantime, if you’ve followed my Instagram feed in the past, you may have noticed quite a bit more activity than normal. I usually post images live from the festival, and hope to be doing that again this year. In addition, I’ve started a series I’m referring to as Jazz 500 (#jazz500). My Jazz Photojournalism adventure began in 1995. A year later, I covered my first Monterey Jazz Festival. Since then, I’ve covered it every year except 1997 and 1998. As you can imagine, after 20 years of photographing some of the greatest legends of the musi

Faces of Jazz: Charnett Moffett - 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival

Charnett Moffett has had a connection to the elite artists in jazz for a very long time. His father, Charles, was a drummer for Ornette Coleman in the 1960s, so he's more than accustomed to being around the legends of jazz. This year, Saturday evening's performances on the Garden Stage featured the artists of the  Moté ma  Records label. Moffett's fourth CD on Moté ma , Spirit of Sound, was released on July 9th. Together with label founder Jana Herzen, Moffett hosted a showcase of  Moté ma artists, and anchored many of the ensembles on bass.