Rediscovering a tenor sax master, Charlie Rouse
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 03/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Sphere".The name of this groups refers to the great Thelonious Sphere Monk.Two of the musicians of this quartet happened to be Monk's musicians for many years: tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse (1924-1988) and drummer Ben Riley.The great Kenny Barron on piano and Buster Williams on bass complete the group.Sphere was created at the beginning of 1982,and the first record of the group,"four in one",also produced by Elektra Musician,was incredibly recorded on February 17,1982;it was entirely dedicated to Monk's music,and on the same day,Thelonious Monk died.This is the second record of the quartet,and 19 years have passed since this session appeared on LP.Jazz lovers have to be patient.On this record,the quartet plays a magnificent version of a seldom played standard,"if I should lose you" (remember Hank Mobley's version on his "soul station" Blue Note album ?)."Pumpkin's delight" is a Charlie Rouse original."Played twice" is a terrific composition by Thelonious Monk,a very difficult piece."Christina" is a beautiful ballad by Buster Williams,dedicated to his niece.Finally,"El sueno" and "flight path" are Kenny Barron's works.Ben Riley's drumming is close to perfection all through the session.And Rouse,definitely,is one of the most original tenor sax players of all times.This is truly one of the very great records of the eighties,and if you like Monk's universe,you'll be at home listening to this music."
The Best Jazz Album You've Never Heard Of
David B. Coe | Sewanee, TN USA | 11/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This a fantastic album that has never received the attention or acclaim it deserved. There's nothing fancy about it, none of the musicians is a superstar. But if you like traditional, straight ahead, no nonsense jazz, this is the album for you. From the haunting opening notes of the first cut ("If I Should Lose You") to the hard bop feel of Charlie Rouse's "Pumpkin's Delight" and Kenny Barron's "Flight Path", to the gentle lyricism of Buster Williams' "Christina", there's something for every jazz fan on this disc. The price is high, because it's currently available only as an import, but it's worth the cost."