Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Hailing from East Saint Louis, Illinois--the hometown of Miles Davis--trumpeter Russell Gunn has no choice but to swing. But what makes this recording special is the level of emotion and maturity this talented 26-year-old ... more »
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Hailing from East Saint Louis, Illinois--the hometown of Miles Davis--trumpeter Russell Gunn has no choice but to swing. But what makes this recording special is the level of emotion and maturity this talented 26-year-old brings to the table. Backed in large and small ensembles with alto and tenor saxophonists Myron Walden and Mark Turner, flutist Greg Tardy, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, pianists James Hurt and Shedrick Mitchell, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Cindy Blackman, Gunn and company deliver a dancing and dark look at love. With his bone-deep tone, Gunn surveys a number of jazz eras, as evidenced by the '70s, Donald Byrd-like midtempo grooves of "Part I: In the Beginning: Love" and the Woody Shaw evocations on "Part II: Deceit." John Coltrane's hypnotic "Equinox" is reincarnated on "Part VII: "Heartache and Regrets," thanks to Blackman's volcanic drumming, and Revis's dynamic bass double-stops spell Charles Mingus on the furious 4/4 vehicle "Torment--Part One." Gunn's debt to Wynton Marsalis colors "Torment--Part Two," and his trumpet slurs echo the avant-garde genius Don Cherry on the title cut. What is apparent throughout this spectral CD is Russell Gunn's encyclopedic embrace of tradition coupled with his pioneering stamp on it. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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Grown up, after all
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Russell Gunn's Love Requiem is a sign of musical maturity. It is nice to see that he left his childish imitations (as attested in most previous releases) behind, and decided to develop his own musical language. Fortunately, the compositions are no mere easy-listening, and the blend of musicians is excellent. Especially praiseworthy is the performance of Cindy Blackman."
Ambitious work which succeeds admirably
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 03/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an ambitious work which succeeds. It's success is based firstly on the writing and arrangements and secondly on the quality of their musical execution. It feels right, it sounds right, it's a group of musicians who are really in touch with other, and this shows in the music. It seems to me to be a delightful conjunction of strong feelings kept in check by judicious writing. The writing consists of a nine part suite based on a cycle of young love, at least the young love as felt by the composer Mr Russell Gunn. It begins peacefully, when all is right with the world, the beginning of love. The second section is Deceit, followed by Love Requiem, Psychosis,Emptiness, Torment Part 1&2, Heartache and Regrets and finally, Acceptance. Take Deceit for example, where the alto of Myron Walden snakes its way over a throbbing rhythm section. Or Torment Pt 1 which opens with the lone poignant voice of the trumpet which is quickly followed by an especially dramatic bass solo. The alto enters, then the drums and other instruments in a kind of chaotic cry made vivid by the vocal exclamations presumably of the bassist. The chaos fades out of which a lone trumpet note is held like a human cry followed by a surging rhythm topped off by a tenor solo by Mr Mark Turner. In short, the music never fails to be arresting in its musical and emotional interest. In so far as it tells a musical story and tells it brilliantly, it is reminiscent of the approach of Mr Edward Kennedy Ellington. With a range of instrumentation, the trumpet of the leader Mr Rusell Gunn, alto of Mr Myron Walden, tenor of Mr Mark Turner, Flute of Mr Greg Tardy, Piano of Mr James Hurt and Mr Shedrick Mitchell, vibes of Mr Stefon Harris, the bass of Mr Eric Revis and the Drums of Ms Cindy Blackman the palette of these eight musicians is rich indeed. Although loathe to single out anyone in this admirable group, I feel compelled to say that I felt the rhythm section was especially effective in providing a stunning foundation for the horns. Mr Revis and Ms Blackman really seemed to me to be outstanding. All of this was helped by a great sound image, well balanced, with clarity, sweetness and especially effective and tight bass. This is a work worthy of the highest praise."