Drew Gress: True South


True South


Drew Gress (bass, electronic instruments)


The Irrational Numbers (Premonition 90775)

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Drew Gress (bass, electronic instruments), Tim Berne (alto sax), Craig Taborn (piano), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Tom Rainey (drums).

Composed by Drew Gress, inspired by John Philip Sousa


Recorded: Brooklyn, August 22-23, 2006


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Just what the jazz world has been missing . . . more covers of John Philip Sousa's tunes. But you will be so busy listening to "True South" (loosely -- very loosely -- based on "The Stars and Stripes Forever") that you may forget to stand up and march. Taborn starts off with a solo piano melody statement that has more Ives and Monk moodiness in it than March King Úlan. But every couple of minutes this song shifts gears. In mid-performance, the band opts for an AACM free-for-all before switching, toward the close, into some unexpected electronics, courtesy of bandleader Drew Gress, sort of a soundtrack for Sousa as musical captain for the starship Enterprise. Most songs end up where they start out, but this one moves through about 100 years of musical history, without ever looking back.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


  • 1 Tony // May 01, 2008 at 03:22 AM
    Haven't had a chance to check this one out, but I have been listening to Gress' "7 Black Butterflies," which becomes more compelling with each listen.