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Wayfaring Stranger
     

Wayfaring Stranger

by Jeremy Steig
 
Wayfaring Stranger is Jeremy Steig's one and only date for Blue Note Records as a leader. Originally issued in 1970, it was produced by Sonny Lester. Steig had been recording as a leader for a number of labels since 1963, including Columbia, Verve (on What's New, a co-lead date with Bill

Overview

Wayfaring Stranger is Jeremy Steig's one and only date for Blue Note Records as a leader. Originally issued in 1970, it was produced by Sonny Lester. Steig had been recording as a leader for a number of labels since 1963, including Columbia, Verve (on What's New, a co-lead date with Bill Evans), and Lester's Solid State. The lineup here includes longtime cohort and bassist Eddie Gomez, drummer Don Alias, and guitarist Sam Brown. Steig wrote or co-wrote five of the six tunes here. The title track is an expansive interpretation on John Jacob Niles' arrangement of the traditional folk tune. On it, Gomez lays out a strolling vamp, Steig goes to work building on the melody, and Brown comps and fills behind him. Alias colors the backdrop with shimmering brushwork and snare breaks. About three minutes in, Steig and Gomez both begin to take chances and funk up the melody without ever leaving it completely behind, but the group improvisation is at a premium, they move East, West, and even toward Latin inside it. Opener "In the Beginning" commences with a far-flung flute solo on which Steig displays brilliant flourishes with breath and tongue acrobatics. When the band comes it, it's Gomez laying down proto-jazz funk on the upright and Alias breaking and popping in counter rhythm. "Mint Tea" weds together rock dynamics, soul-jazz, and hard bop vamps. The set's final two tracks, "All Is One" and "Space," sound like they belong on a different album, given that they are on-the-spot improvs that focus on tonal and textural investigations that sit firmly in the vanguard with deliberate use of silences as a mode to carry on very inventive conversations. They are anything but difficult to listen to, however; in fact, they're both gorgeous and reflect how wide-ranging Steig's (and by turn Gomez's) vision was for the time.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2012
Label:
Real Gone Music
UPC:
0848064001096
catalogNumber:
400109
Rank:
72372

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