Joris Teepe and Don Braden, Chemistry, Creative Perspective ****

Jazz of this calibre and level of musicianship never goes out of fashion. To the more sceptical it may be meat and potatoes hard bop. But sometimes we all need home cooking to remain grounded, find a suitable benchmark to grow again, and we get it …

Published: 29 Sep 2021. Updated: 28 days.

1632813068_cover

Jazz of this calibre and level of musicianship never goes out of fashion. To the more sceptical it may be meat and potatoes hard bop. But sometimes we all need home cooking to remain grounded, find a suitable benchmark to grow again, and we get it here. Bassist Joris Teepe and tenor saxophonist Don Braden are in an all-star small gathering (no piano or guitar at all required) as the pair are joined alternately by the great Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane and Horace Silver drummer Louis Hayes and by Jeff ''Tain'' Watts known for his long tenure in Branford Marsalis' classic quartet. Branford (known to pals and fans as Steep) is namechecked immediately on Kenny Kirkland's 'Steepian Faith' at the beginning. Classy stuff. I've only heard Braden live briefly at a show in London's Pizza Express Jazz Club circa The Voice of the Saxophone on what was a swinging occasion back oh more than 20 years ago. An elegant, erudite, player here he is like a younger Benny Golson. And chorus after interesting chorus pours out of him. Tain I interviewed on a rare trip to New York back in the late-1990s when he was doing press for his record Citizen Tain and back in London heard him a few times mainly playing with Branford. Ancient history perhaps. What's modern however is that he's a constant stimulus to deepen any jazz appreciator's interest in this life-changing music. Still one of the world's greatest jazz drummers you get that sense of coming home here, no grandstanding, just going to the heart of the groove and shaking things up where you least expect it to make the rhythm sizzle and stir. You just don't get that power, that polyrhythmic sense in a hard bop setting done so well any more. Flying Dutchman Teepe who is well-known on the US scene is excellent, I'm thinking Ron Carter a bit in his style tunnelling into the big beat required in such a setting. There's a lot of brightness to his accents. Teepe and Braden have been playing together for many years and their understanding of each other's moves is part of why this unassuming but compelling record works so well. Full of old favourites Braden finds interesting things to do on Horace Silver's 'Song For My Father' with Hayes totally in his element. SG

Tags:

The super-groovy soul-jazz Hammond organ master Dr Lonnie Smith has died at the age of 79

Soul-jazz Hammond organ legend Dr Lonnie Smith has died at home in Fort Lauderdale in Florida of pulmonary fibrosis, a form of lung disease. He was 79. Smith was a significant artist in the 1960s for Blue Note Records on such albums as Lou …

Published: 29 Sep 2021. Updated: 28 days.

Next post

DrLonnieSmith_6574_ByMarkSheldon

Soul-jazz Hammond organ legend Dr Lonnie Smith has died at home in Fort Lauderdale in Florida of pulmonary fibrosis, a form of lung disease. He was 79. Smith was a significant artist in the 1960s for Blue Note Records on such albums as Lou Donaldson’s Alligator Bogaloo (1967) and his own Think and Turning Point and into the 70s with Move Your Hand and Drives while the contemporaraneous and one of his best Live at Club Mozambique had to wait until the 1990s for a release . Smith returned to the label in recent years.

The NEA Jazz Master (the USA's highest jazz honour) in his early career worked in George Benson's quartet. Known sartorially later for his distinctive turban he had a lot of magnetism as a performer. The acid jazz movement of the 1990s rediscovered his groovy sound and back where he belonged on Blue Note the message continued in his late career collaborating with Iggy Pop. “Doc was a musical genius who possessed a deep, funky groove and a wry, playful spirit,” says Blue Note president Don Was. “His mastery of the drawbars was equalled only by the warmth in his heart. He was a beautiful guy and all of us at Blue Note Records loved him a lot.” Photo: Mark Sheldon/Blue Note