Saturday morning listen, the best time of the week: the soul jazz of 'Silverdust' more than steps up to the plate. And it is the Groover Quartet head honcho Mike LeDonne's tune, a piece that previously appeared in a different setting on Smokin' Out Loud (Savant, 2004) that Eric Alexander wailing here to the cows come home was also on.
Thrill to Alexander, up here as good as when he was on Chicago Fire yonks ago exchanging licks effortlessly with Jeremy Pelt on 'You Talk That Talk.' First things first however in the horn section too note the presence of alto great the Hubbardian Vincent Herring soloing mightily.
And being ready for Freddie is one key to unlocking the door. On this new treatment of 'Silverdust' it's a bouncing Kenny Washington not Smokin' Out Loud's Joe Farnsworth at the kit and there's gorgeous Freddie Hubbard-like trumpet from the great Pelt classy as ever, the track laid down at studio shrine of shrines Van Gelder's in New Jersey. LeDonne chooses piano instead of Hammond organ used on the earlier version and piano suits the non-complex and none the worse for that tune even more in a way - the juiciness is even more pronounced somehow even when the B-3 usually has home advantage for this kind of Brother Ray recalling thing. Sonically you can hear everything, it's all so clean whether ensemble or individual lines and Peter Washington so vital on Peter Bernstein's What Comes Next a few years ago steers this supertanker of an outfit towards deep anchorage.
Reasons to be cheerful as the hard bop reniassance continues to underline its significance no matter how retro - part 1. Once again Cellar Live proves its mighty strength in depth, a big factor on the indie labels side this year sending a jazz message.
If you're into The Cookers - and sure wouldn't it be a mortal sin not to be - Christmas has come early. It's not just the great blend in the horns, it's the sort of forward momentum trampling feel and the time chosen that counts. Slipping in on the album's sixth track there's a slice of guitar umami snuck in on 'Chainsaw' from the Serb Rale Micic who Tom Harrell anoraks will know from First Impressions. 'Silverdust' is drawn from The Heavy Hitters out in January.
The Heavy Hitters - left-to-right: Peter Washington, Eric Alexander, Kenny Washington, Vincent Herring, Jeremy Pelt, Mike LeDonne, Rale Micic. Photo: via Cellar Live on Bandcamp