Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Three stars 'cause it's Blakey.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 02/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The quest to find quality Blakey recordings made in the '80s is often discouraging, especially since this was a period during which "schooled" players and a "reactionary" musical environment supposedly were working in favor of the great percussionist. Perhaps Bu was letting up on the reigns, content to stoke the fires while his line-ups of alternating Berkley graduates continued to contribute modal riffs disguised as compositions (where were the Golson and Walter Davis Jr. tunes when they were most needed?) and show off all of their Coltrane scales and top tones.
The program is dense, monochromatic, and monotonous--hard bop verging on late 60s free sounds. The addition of Toussaint's tenor saxophone is completely superfluous, especially with Blanchard and Harrison on hand. The game plan for each soloist is the same: start quietly sans percussion and build to an all-out frenzy (like a Metheny show without the production values). The recording is irritatingly bass-heavy (after a while the session sounds like a Plaxico walking-bass solo album.)
Despite the sub-standard program and audio, both Blanchard and Harrison have some good moments while Mulgrew Miller is under-utilized. The CD comes to an inglorious finish when the music is aborted in the middle of the final tune, "I Want to Talk about You." Just as well. This is the worst arrangement and performance I've ever heard of the Billy Eckstein ballad much prized by Coltrane."