Drew Gress's responsive, versatile chops and Rockefeller-rich tone have made him a much in-demand NYC sideman, supporting Uri Caine, Tim Berne, Fred Hersch, Don Byron, and others. On this, his third solo outing, he leads a quintet through a set of brainy originals that just touch the progressive fringes of straight-ahead jazz. The mood is generally meditative, the melodies never catchy but never hard on the ear. "Low Slung/High Strung," introduced by Gress solo featuring rubbery chords and blues runs, swings and nearly rocks harder with fuel from drummer Tom Rainey, the MVP on an album that also includes Tim Berne's acerbic alto sax, Ralph Alessi's trumpet and Craig Taborn's piano.
By Dan Ouellette on 06.19.12 in Reviews
It's been a little more than two decades since saxophonist Ravi Coltrane fully broke into the top-shelf jazz world (as a member of drummer Elvin Jones's Jazz Machine), thus finally overcoming the daunting task of emergin...
By Kevin Whitehead on 02.22.10 in Spotlights
Uri Caine personifies the postmodern musical impulse; he's recorded straight-ahead and not so straightahead jazz, funk, klezmer, Brazilian pop, turn-of-20th-century Tin Pan Alley songs and breathtakingly novel and divers...
By Kevin Whitehead on 07.24.09 in Spotlights
The pianist heard on the newly released 2001 solo recital Fred Hersch Plays Jobim may be the best-known Fred Hersch: a consummate player of lyrical ballads, enriching their melodies and chords in subtle ways. He's a mast...
By Kevin Whitehead on 02.25.15 in Features
Kevin Whitehead on how the prolific saxophonist has defeated expectations.