Mighty Long Way

Mighty Long Way

5.0 1
by Alvin Queen
     
 
Alvin Queen's longtime European expatriate status has apparently ended, as this recording for the veteran drummer was done in New York City with younger musicians who admire his veteran presence and solid mainstream jazz credentials. Several cuts hearken back to modified Jimmy Smith style organ combos, while others have a feel stemming

Overview

Alvin Queen's longtime European expatriate status has apparently ended, as this recording for the veteran drummer was done in New York City with younger musicians who admire his veteran presence and solid mainstream jazz credentials. Several cuts hearken back to modified Jimmy Smith style organ combos, while others have a feel stemming from Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and some get down and dirty with the original funk of those like Horace Silver. Queen himself is a solid drummer who does not employ bashing or histrionics à la Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, or Jeff Watts, while his musicality is second to none, and rivals peers like Joe Chambers. Organist Mike LeDonne shines brightly as the glue on this session, with guitarist Peter Bernstein right by his side, while trumpeter Terell Stafford and alto saxophonist Jesse Davis prove a fine tandem that front the music in a faithful, straight-ahead, no-nonsense fashion. For those who are veteran listeners of jazz, you'll recognize a faithful version of Silver's "Cape Verdean Blues" with its wonderfully rich harmonies and churning rhythm, or Wayne Shorter's "United" with a similar Latin beat tacked onto a New Orleans feeling, not so much embellished as it is slightly shaded with LeDonne's organ. "I Got a Woman" is a typical, tried and true boogaloo groove that would make its author Ray Charles smile. Two obscure Oscar Peterson tunes are included, with "Sushi" a fast, insistent bop, and "Backyard Blues" a galloping romp/shuffle served under the tangy horns. Joe Pace, hardly known as a writer of jazz, contributed the title track in its happy, more contemporary modern organ combo format, while "Let Us Go into the House" certainly lives up to its singsongy, blues/gospel funk title. Davis brings to the repertoire the slow, cool, and basic "Blues on Q," as well as "Alba," a hip Blakey-type modern jazz swinger with Queen's drum fill-ins as pauses for thought and Bernstein's tasty guitar work. The obligatory Queen solo, "The Drum Thing," concludes the CD on a rumbling, tasteful note with help from Randy Weston's longtime conga player Neil Clarke. Were this to be a real working band (all of the participants are leaders in their own right,) jazz listeners would be shouting to the rafters for more of this excellent unit perhaps touring in support of this music. For now, this should do just fine as a quite memorable effort.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/30/2009
Label:
Justin Time Records
UPC:
0068944854929
catalogNumber:
8549

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Mighty Long Way 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I WAS BLOWN A MIGHT LONG WAY WHEN I HEARD THIS NEW CD. EXCUSE THE PUN. SERIOUSLY THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST ALVIN HAS PUT OUT YET. EVERY CAT ON THE CD BLENDS TOGETHER, THE SOUND IS THERE WITH THE BEAT. THE ENERGY IS OUTSTANDING. I LOVE B3'S AND IT GAVE SO MUCH TO THE CD. THE UPRIGHT BASS PUT ANOTHER SOUND IN A SOUND THAT GAVE THIS CD MORE GROVE AND HE WAS RIGHT IN THE POCKET WITH ALL THE OTHER GUYS. WOW, THIS ONE IS GREAT. GET IT NOW AND LISTEN NOT JUST ONCE BUT OVER AND OVER YOU WILL HEAR SOMETHING NEW EACH TIME YOU LISTEN TO IT. IT IS FANTASTIC