Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Black/Note, a young hard-bop revivalist quintet from Los Angeles, opened for Wynton Marsalis on one of their first major East Coast dates, and the combo hews very closely to the Marsalis party line on the 1994 album Jungle... more »
Black/Note, a young hard-bop revivalist quintet from Los Angeles, opened for Wynton Marsalis on one of their first major East Coast dates, and the combo hews very closely to the Marsalis party line on the 1994 album Jungle Music. In other words, these young players bring expert chops, a serious demeanor, and a conservative deference to the mainstream jazz tradition of the '50s. Even though all the songs on the album were composed by group members, the tunes sound like studied imitations of Art Blakey, Horace Silver, and Lee Morgan. The young members of Black/Note play with considerable skill and admirable harmonic conception, but only rarely does a striking melodic invention burst through and never does one hear the irreverent hint of lust or humor. Black/Note is led by bassist Mark Shelby, who composed six of the album's 11 numbers and who fills the Blakey-like role of supplying the propulsive pulse. He is joined by pianist Ark Sano, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, alto saxophonist James Mahone, drummer Willie Jones, and, on eight of the cuts, by the group's associate member, tenor saxophonist Phil Vieux. They have all mastered the means of jazz communication; now they just have to find something to say. --Geoffrey Himes
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David B. Erickson | Asheville, NC United States | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jazz reviewers cannot help but worship the cult of the new. That's what they're paid for. So it is a shame that Black/Note got pigeonholed as copycats. That they existed at all is something of a miracle: Five young guys in Los Angeles in the early '90s who played unapologetic hard bop. If you like Art Blakey, if you like Sonny Clark--hell, if you go for the Blue Note hard-bop bag at all--you're going to love this recording.
It is true that the band broke no new stylistic ground, but so what? The musicianship is excellent throughout, and the band swings hard."