Search - Stablemates :: Roots

Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Stablemates
Title: Roots
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: In & Out Records
Release Date: 5/3/2005
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 798747702126, 4014224702127

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CD Reviews

Cream of the crop
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 12/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Simply stated, "Stablemates" brings together one of the greatest collections of modern jazz talent ever. While piecing great personnel together doesn't always ensure a great record, in this case, great music is exactly what is produced.Consider the front line that makes up the band called Roots: Arthur Blythe on alto and soprano sax; Chico Freeman on tenor, alto and soprano; Sam Rivers on alto and soprano; and Nathan Davis on tenor, alto and soprano. That's a pretty good cross section of some of the best, most consistent contributors to progressive jazz over the past 30+ years. Add to that line the great pianist Don Pullen (who tosses in some funky organ as well), along with Santi DeBriano on bass and Idris Muhammad on drums and you've got a serious, heavyweight lineup.From the opening moments, the band delivers by taking on the Oliver Nelson classic "Stolen Moments." Nathan Davis gets the album off to a rousing start with a stinging soprano sax solo. Never heard of him? Unless you're a musician, hard-core fan or long-time resident of Pittsburgh (where he turned in many years of distinguished service as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh), you're not alone. Nonetheless, Davis plays a key role in the band, contributing two arrangements (including "Stolen Moments") and a fine, moving composition, "I Remember Eric Dolphy" (with whom he played in Europe; for another excellent example of Nathan's work, check out the recently realized Dolphy CD "The Unrealized Tapes").The album is, in large part, these musicians' way of paying tribute to the great musicians of modern jazz. In addition to the Dolphy tribute, there are tribute compositions for the likes of Archie Shepp, Johnny Griffin, Johnny Hodges, and Red Holloway; and well-conceived covers of tunes by Jimmy Forrest ("Night Train," which chugs along like a steam engine that could cross the country without breaking a sweat) and Benny Golson (whose jazz standard provides the title for the album). As any creative group would, however, they put their own personal stamp on the work. The tribute to Shepp, "Linden Boulevard," for example, is done in a tight, conventionally swinging way, different from Archie's style, yet suggestive of it.There is plenty of swinging and hard soloing from all the players, but they aren't afraid to be tender either. Davis is mournful without being maudlin on his tribute to Dolphy; Blythe taps into a deep well of lyricism on Pullen's remembrance of his departed musical partner George Adams, "Ah, George, We Hardly Knew Ya," (which joins a list of a number of fine versions of this great tune); and Freeman has a great, soulful turn on "Requiem for a Rabbit," his tip of the hat to Johnny Hodges.All in all, "Stablemates" is a celebration of jazz creativity and spirit by a group of musicians with great ears for each other's music and for the music that built the foundations on which they stand. Highest recommendation."