Mark Little, piano, Hammond B3 organ; Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; Chico Freeman, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Alex Murzyn, tenor Saxophone; Dave Ellis, tenor saxophone; Jon Evans, bass; Peter Barshay, bass; San Foltz, drums, Dezon Clairbourne, drums; Ronnie Burrage, drums; Scott Foster, guitar; Joel Harrison, guitar; Full Faith and Credit Big Band.
Pianist Mark Little brings in a couple of heavy weight tenor sax players in Joe Lovano and Chico Freeman for this entertaining CD. Bop players all, most of the tracks are quite busy offerings; and an unusual amount of innovative drumming.
"Guard Dog (East)", is a fierce opener, with the tenors of Lovano and Freeman trying hard to ruin their reeds with some entertaining scratching and screeching. Ronnie Burrage on drums really works the skins. Mark Little is a pleasant pianist, demonstrating this in "Nate", and this time Dezon Clairbourne shows some deft drumming technique. The third track, "Noite Negra", has the third drummer, Dan Foltz, showing some prominent work in this Latin number. "Blues for West Texas", has the Hammond B3 wading in on this more electronically sounding piece. "See You There", a tuneful number with a ballad feel to it; the piano of Little and the guitar of Scott Foster combining well. Jon Evans on bass and Dan Foltz on drums compliment admirably. "Kindred Spirits", solos Alex Murzyn on tenor sax; Little and Foster again combine well on piano and guitar. The set finishes with the Full Faith and Credit Big Band playing "Isn't Art It", ending the CD with a fulsome swing. The best track for me is "Pasha's Dilemma", opening with a plaintive tenor solo from Joe Lovano, then joined by the splendid bass clarinet of Chico Freeman, Little weaves it all together with some fine piano. There is little information given on the liner; there is no mention of who wrote the music, and only the last track is credited with an arranger. What we do know though, is that this is good Jazz, played enthusiastically and with spirit.
by Ferdinand Maylin
Jazz Now Interactive July 2004 Vol 14 No. 3 - Table of Contents