Daniel Carter/Gregg Keplinger/Reuben Radding


Origin Records

Daniel Carter, saxophone; Gregg Keplinger, drums; Reuben Radding, bass.


The Seattle scene may be known for it's grunge rock sound, but it also a fertile ground for Jazz musicians. This recording is the real deal. Three musicians go into the studio and just blow. "Speak Glow" finds them off and running. Saxophonist Carter is chased around by the rhythm section. He blows fluid lines while drummer Keplinger is a whirling dervish, and bassist Radding plays big notes. Keplinger solos, sounding like Elvin or Blakey as he keeps the fire burning. When Carter and Radding reenter, Radding delivers high toned squeals with his bow to match the sax. The intensity keeps building until the end. "Language" starts out with Keplinger playing rattles and cymbals. Carter blows a languid sax line, while Radding's arco bass plays long, tension filled notes. If the first track burned, this one smolders.

They take their time here, letting things breathe. Radding breaks out into a walking bass and the band follows. They play angular, with Keplinger punctuating things. Slowly, over nearly twenty minutes, the track builds up and then lets things down gently with lush sax and arco bass.

"Roadrunner" is a sort of jagged swing with Carter sounding a bit like Joe McPhee. Carter plays a strong walking pulse while Keplinger circles around him. These are three excellent musicians who know how to listen. They each lead and support at the same time. This is a very enjoyable improvisational outing.

by Michael Bettine

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