Robert Lewis, tenor and soprano sax; Frank
Duvall, bass; Bill Anschell, piano; Quentin Baxter, drums.
This is a refreshing disc. Within the standard quartet format, these veteran musicians deliver a spirited performance. Opening with "Finders Keepers," there is an energy that moves things along. The rhythm section of Duvall and Baxter is taught and assured. Lewis solos on tenor with a nice sense of melodic detail, as does pianist Anschell. Both are confident and lyrical soloists. "Limestone" is a rock tune with Duvall anchoring things nicely while Baxter embellishes with cymbals in the intro. Lewis has an ease about his sax playing with his notes almost floating in the air. Baxter opens up during Anschell's solo and things cook. It's evident that they are as great of listeners as they are players.
Even on a ballad like "The Gift," they keep their energy as the tune dances along. "Lonely Journey" is slow paced and measured. Duvall's bass, reminiscent of the great Charlie Haden, is full bodied and lyrical as he solos over a sparse drum part. "The Gloaming" is in seven, yet never feels "odd." Lewis solos on soprano with a full tone. He avoids that nasally overblown sound that so many players seem to favor. The up tempo "Swagger" lets Anschell shine in an opening solo. He leaves space between the notes, letting the music breathe. Judging by this CD, some great things are happening in South Carolina.
by Michael Bettine
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, November 2002 issue, all rights reserved