SFJazz Collective

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
This eponymously titled disc documents the inaugural season of the SFJazz Collective, an eight-piece repertory band led by music director Joshua Redman under the auspices of the San Francisco Jazz Organization. It's a unit of virtuosos, mandated to interpret repertoire by iconic jazz composers -- Ornette Coleman was the choice for 2004 -- and originals by the members. Gil Goldstein's imaginative arrangements of Coleman's "Peace," "When Will the Blues Leave," and "Una Muy Bonita" are the fulcrum of the program, drawn from live performances (a three-CD set available from SFJazz presents the full 2004 set list). Central to the proceedings is the interactive rhythm section: ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
This eponymously titled disc documents the inaugural season of the SFJazz Collective, an eight-piece repertory band led by music director Joshua Redman under the auspices of the San Francisco Jazz Organization. It's a unit of virtuosos, mandated to interpret repertoire by iconic jazz composers -- Ornette Coleman was the choice for 2004 -- and originals by the members. Gil Goldstein's imaginative arrangements of Coleman's "Peace," "When Will the Blues Leave," and "Una Muy Bonita" are the fulcrum of the program, drawn from live performances (a three-CD set available from SFJazz presents the full 2004 set list). Central to the proceedings is the interactive rhythm section: drummer Brian Blade picks off the beats like a spider catching flies, dotting the i's, crossing the t's, propelling the flow; Robert Hurst contributes staunch, apropos bass lines; pianist Renee Rosnes prods the ongoing inquiry with spot-on comp and contributes several stunning solos. Rosnes' multithematic "Of This Day's Journey" is one of four band compositions -- along with Redman's "Rise and Fall," a Coleman-esque folk aria; vibraphonist and éminence grise Bobby Hutcherson's whimsical "March Madness"; and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon's anthemic Afro-inflected "Lingala" -- that meld the speculative aesthetic postulated in the music of Coleman, ‘60s-era Miles, Coltrane, and progressive Blue Note with modern formalist imperatives and a world-oriented 21st-century rhythmic feel. The ensemble articulates the often gnarly themes and sections with panache and precision, and springboards off them without inhibition.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
In its admirable quest to issue fine recordings regardless of genre or outward commercial appeal, Nonesuch Records has released a live disc of the exciting, cross-generational SF Jazz Collective. This self-titled set is taken from a triple-CD collection available only through its website. The band is a who's who of jazz talent, and includes the venerable vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonists Joshua Redman the group's artistic director, and Miguel Zenón, drummer Brian Blade, pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Robert Hurst and trombonist Josh Roseman, with arrangements by Gil Goldstein. The group picks the work of a jazz composer's top study every year, and for 2004 it was Ornette Coleman. There are three of his compositions on this release, along with works by bandmembers. The Coleman tunes are revelatory with brilliant work by the two saxophonists. The ensemble is tight, focused, and swings hard. "Peace" is a knotty tune with many twists and turns in its head, it is flawless and inspired. Rosnes does a fine job of piloting the band through the work which wasn't scored with a piano in mind. And in the soloing there is no ego-tripping -- the tune and the band are served. Likewise with the gorgeous "Una Muy Bonita," with its staggered rhythms and bright melodic frame. Hurst's bassing here is the engine, nurturing the rhythm along seamlessly as the front-line players sift and sing through the changes. The interplay between Payton and Zenón is delightful. The originals may not be as memorable as Coleman's, but all are notable. Zenón's "Lingala" opens the set in a minor key head of vibes and Payton's elegiac trumpet before the tune breaks open into virtual song. The bluesy Eastern mode of Redman's "Rise and Fall" with its long, spacious line is just lovely, as is Rosnes' complex, lilting "Of This Day's Journey," with a beautifully tender and empathic solo by Hutcherson. The vibist's playful yet dramatic "March Madness" closes out this disc. It's tensile, quiet opening is turned upside-down a minute in as Hurst begins strutting out front before the front line answers in harmonic counterpoint. Payton's solo, with its taste, fire and supreme melodic sense, is the high point of the tune. This is as impressive a debut as we've heard in recent years, by a band who not only play like one, but who respect the jazz tradition enough to actually extend it with creativity, vision, and sensitivity in the current millennium.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/24/2005
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597986624
  • Catalog Number: 79866

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lingala (12:27)
  2. 2 Peace (10:09)
  3. 3 Of This Day's Journey (13:34)
  4. 4 When Will the Blues Leave (4:50)
  5. 5 Rise and Fall (13:00)
  6. 6 Una Muy Bonita (11:03)
  7. 7 March Madness (8:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
SFJAZZ Collective Primary Artist
Renee Rosnes Piano
Robert Hurst Bass, Double Bass
Joshua Redman Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Brian Blade Drums
Bobby Hutcherson Marimbas, Vibes
Nicholas Payton Trumpet
Josh Roseman Trombone
Miguel Zenón Flute, Alto Saxophone
Miguel Zendon Flute, Alto Saxophone
Technical Credits
Gil Goldstein Arranger, Assistant Arranger
Renee Rosnes Composer
Joshua Redman Composer, Producer, Audio Production, Artistic Director
Ornette Coleman Composer
Jeff Cressman Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Bobby Hutcherson Composer
Bob Blumenthal Liner Notes
Randall Kline Executive Producer
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