Terell Stafford: Berda's Bounce
Terell Stafford (trumpet)
New Beginnings (MaxJazz MXJ 402)
Derrick Hodge (bass), Dana Hall (drums).
Composed by Terell Stafford.
Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, January 15-16, 2003
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
To open "Berda's Bounce," piano legend Mulgrew Miller dances across the keys in a solo that swings hard from the first phrase. As he finishes, Miller sets up the rest of the band for a brief statement of the tune's catchy melody. From here, saxophonist Steve Wilson starts from scratch, leading a now-quiet rhythm section back into an up-tempo swing. At this point, Stafford's band has reached full steam.
Dedicated to his wife, "Berda's Bounce" completes Stafford's 3-movement New Beginnings Suite with a considerable bang. After Wilson's alto solo, Stafford enters with a stop-time section in which he walks the fine line between blues and hard bop. Stafford's passion pours from the bell of his horn as he pushes listeners to the edge of their seats. Some of the many high points of Stafford's playing include lofty high notes, against-the-grain rhythmic figures, and even a lick reminiscent of Mingus's "Haitian Fight Song." Dana Hall also gets some well-deserved time in the spotlight, with a very tasteful drum solo before the band reunites for the head.
Reviewer: Greg Marchand