Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.


Vincent Herring, "Morning Star" (CD Review)


Sign in to view read count
I recently reviewed alto saxophonist Vincent Herring's Morning Star for Jazz Times. Click here to go directly to the review, which appeared in the magazine's September issue, or read the full text below.

Vincent Herring & Earth Jazz, Morning Star (Challenge)

Shades of the Headhunters, Weather Report, the Crusaders and, not surprisingly, Cannonball Adderley's electric-jazz releases color the sound of Vincent Herring's Earth Jazz Agents (here, minus the “Agents"), the gifted alto saxophonist's working funk and fusion quartet.

Yes, it all feels like a bit of a time warp, but the sonic setting hardly keeps the postbopper and his bandmates earthbound. To the contrary: Their work on Morning Star uses '70s-style fusion and groove-jazz as a launching pad for some oft-intriguing work, built on textures and rhythms that come off as alternately smooth and rough—and that's a compliment.

Coltrane's “Naima" is reworked with a steadily churning backbeat, fueled by the snaking rhythms of bassist Richie Goods and drummer Joris Dudli, and Herring's probing solo. Mulgrew Miller's laidback funk stroll “Soul Leo," spiked with slow-mo bass slapping and popping and pianist Anthony Wonsey's warm electric piano and synthesizer, hints at Herbie Hancock's “Watermelon Man." And Rodgers Grant's title track is a pensive ballad.

But the band's own compositions dominate the set, starting with Wonsey's multicolored, segmented “Do You Remember Me?" and the sprawling, atmospheric “Black Fairytales," a showcase for Herring's sensitive soprano explorations. Wonsey gives his “The Thang" a deep-funk remix, replete with bluesy organ and wah-wah bass.

Dudli contributes a pair of pieces, the rather sedate mid-tempo groover “Tom Tom" and “You Got Soul," a gospel-tinged piece that sounds like a lost Ray Charles gem. Herring's sole contribution, “Never Forget," is relaxation in action, something that might be said about much of the album.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Between the Grooves with Philip Booth.
Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.



Timely announcements from the industry.