Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Keep on keepin' on; not the same ole same ole
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 11/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Holland is the greatest living jazz bassist: a superb musician and all around cool dude whose name has been synonymous with the highest quality jazz for some 25 years now. What other bass player (or any instrumentalist for that matter) can release two albums consisting entirely of unaccompanied playing, that are on such a level of quality, they are rated even higher by some fans than his excellent band records?1987's "Razor's Edge" is yet another one of those excellent band records, and the high level it operates on could only have been maintained under Holland's confident leadership. "Razor's Edge" features 3 Holland originals, two by Steve Coleman, two by Doug Hammond and one by Kenny Wheeler. Don't expect some neo-traditionalist rehash, you won't find it here. This is a progressive jazz record of rare excellence and depth, the exceptional qualities of which are easily recognizable and enduring but not instantly accessible without some effort on the part of the listener. There are no mediocre tunes, all the compositions are top-notch and always stay fully progressive while running the gamut of emotions: from high-energy uptempo mayhem to mid-tempo cool to exquisite modern jazz balladry. The record as a whole is a more consistent effort than 1984's excellent "Seeds of Time." The more energetic tunes hit you like a cold slap on the face but reveal more and more warmth on each repeated listen as you become comfortable with their aura. The band sound is loud and horn heavy, just wild enough to scare off squeamish yuppie jazz fans but never too wild and arrogant for its own good. There's plenty of Mingus-like ensemble playing and loud dissonance to blast people out of cornbread Pat-Metheny-land and give them a nice little artistic headache full of healthy neurotic complexity which is relieved by the majestically smooth flugelhorn melodies of Wheeler and the magnificently cool trombone melodies of Robin Eubanks. Needless to add, some of alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's most amazing playing is also on this record: high-concept, supertoned, non-cliche, virtuoso sax lines to make your head spin. And, of course, the fire that lights the spark is drummer extraordinaire Marvin "Smitty" Smith. Smith is on a subtle burn throughout in the background, managing to squeeze in incredible drum fills at the most unexpected moments, and becomes truly volcanic and unchained on the display piece "Figit Time," where he turns up the heat and takes center stage."