Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Live & Kickin' Performance
Edwardobop | 11/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are two things that, from experience, make me nervous about buying "live" recordings. First is the audio quality... is it going to be ok or is it one of those that sound like it's been recorded in a tunnel on a cellphone? Second worry is the timing element of the tracks. I have bought live albums where it is obvious after about three or four minutes that, for whatever reason, it is not a good night for the guys in the band. Yet they still insist on playing each track for over twenty minutes to eat up the performance time. WELL I CAN DEFINITELY SAY THAT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE RECORDINGS.... The opening track, a superb interpretation of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" is sixteen minutes long and, while there have been hundreds of recordings made of this sturdy warhorse, few have sounded more exciting and satisfying for both audience and , one suspects, the musicians too. Not a single note during the performance is wasted. From the opening, searching cry from Chico Freeman's soprano sax the mood is at once alert and suspenseful. The whole band are like a coiled-up snake ... slowly unwinding to full size and demonstrating what a powerful and beautiful creature the amazing individual parts come together to create. John Hicks is constantly flashing wonderful colors that combine so perfectly with the bright and sinewy show of strength that come from Freeman and Blythe's unwinding. While Blythe confirms his status as one of the most inventive altoists of the day, Freeman moves from soprano to tenor (and some keyboards) with ease -qualifying as a true multi-instrumentalist; happy to throw caution to the wind on the up-tempo tracks, while showing a deep emotional feel for the nuances of "You are Too Beautiful" the only ballad on the cd.
A word (actually two) about John Hicks... Utterley Unbelievable. John, you are sadly missed. The rest of the band also have to be congratulated and given a massive round of applause. Norman Hedman on percussion, Donald Pate (bass) and Victor Jones (drums) play their hearts out.
My copy was bought in 1990 and I have been meaning to write this review for many years and so, here it is. I am happy to recommend it to all lovers of jazz music that is alive... and kickin a$$. Grab it while you can. Luminous"