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felser

AOTW March 18-24

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This 1998 session on ENJA is one of the few of the last 25 years I consider truly great. Burton to me is criminally underregarded, and his playing here is on fire even more than usual. I will sign out with the AMG review by Michael Nastos, which expresses thoughts on this CD more eloquently than I could (I don't have phrases like "bituminous strokes of swing" in my arsenal. Calling my friend Nate Dorward!):

Intensity, pride, and passion are the earmarks for the modern mainstream jazz quartet co-led by tenor saxophnist Burton and drummer McPherson. They display a fervor that is consistently buoyed by the insistent pianistics of James Hurt, while bassist Yosuke Inoue stokes the fire with bituminous strokes of swing and steadying brute force. Each of these six compositions allow each member to stretch out and dig in, and they have a definite center from which to draw upon. Many will be reminded of the classic John Coltrane quartet from their Impulse recordings: slightly on the edge, forever moving forward. "Nebulai" is set up by a probing ostinato bass sets, Hurt's roaring piano, and Burton's bridge workout, which reflects Coltrane's energy, but sports Burton's voice. In 6/8, the title track over is 16 minutes and uses a repeated modal piano line and a bowed bass solo, churning tick-tock drumming, and a four note bassline, setting up extended tenor and piano excursions, and a hard bop second half where Burton and Hurt bubble over. That same crescendoing capsized boil also crops up on the lithe Afro-Cuban danza "Punta Lullaby." There's also a spirit ballad for "Dad," with Burton far from tame or languid, a hip, modern bossa "Forbidden Fruit" in beats of seven, and the most consistently hard swinger "The Last Laugh." If concentrated doses of highly motivated, nitro fueled expressiveness appeals to you, this album and band should more than adequately fill the bill, as Burton, McPherson, and Hurt emerge as individualists and powerful purveyors of this thoroughly modern milleu.

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Nice call Felser.

A great album capping off a great run by Burton on Enja. I listen to these a lot.

I will comment more later.

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Burton is touring Germany almost every year - his German agent leaves in nearby Wiesbaden and manages to squeeze in a gig here on practically every tour. Maybe I should go see him again. Saw him 10 years ago and didn't find him too exciting - well rounded, but nothing extraordinary.

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time to get that one out again, this record was very important to my friends and me when we got into jazz in 10th grade... (no 1 besides Brad Mehldau's Songs) but I haven't heard either in a long time , so much energy in this record... only other Burton I ever heard was a Burton / McPherson Duo Live Broadcast from Moers from about the same time, which I loved even more, (though I don't think I will ever find that selfmade cassette again)

thanks for the reminder!

edit to add, i'd leave Wiesbaden, too if i lived there, i think ;)

Edited by Niko

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