The Gadd Gang: Things Ain't What They Used To Be; I Can't Turn You Loose; Watching the River Flow; My Girl - Changes; Whiter Shade of Pale; Signed Sealed Delivered; Honky Tonk - I Can't Stop Lovin' You .
Steve Gadd, drums; Cornell Dupree, guitar; Eddie Gomez, bass; Richard Tee, keyboard; Ronnie Cuber, bass
Roots: Never Always; Parker's Mood; Body and Soul; After Dark; You Don't Know What Love Is; Lester Leaps In.
Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, Sam Rivers, Nathan Davis, saxes; Don Pullen, piano; Santi Debriano, bass; Idris Muhammed, drums
These two groups are pretty wide apart in style, but both are exceptional examples of their particular kind.
Roots allows all four of the featured saxophonists to have complete freedom in their choice of solos. Their individuality is the crux of the high entertainment here with Blythe and Rivers coming from left-field, whilst Freeman and Davis pile it on with big toned expressiveness. The rhythm section underpins the soloists but they have little chance to really show their mettle.
The Gadd Gang rely more on finding a rhythmic groove, which Gomez and Gadd do with alacrity. Ronnie Cuber, Cornell Dupree and the late Richard Tee provide the blues and funk inspired solos.
Both groups give top-line performances, which make for an interesting comparison in the many styles of today's Jazz.
by Al Merritt
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