Danny Gottlieb: Gloria's Step
Danny Gottlieb (drums)
Brooklyn Blues (Big World BW2005)
Gil Goldstein (keyboards), Chip Jackson (bass).
Composed by Scott LaFaro.
Recorded: New York, December 1990
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
For such a fragile instrument, the flute sure can dominate the proceedings. This is especially so of Jeremy Steig's flute on Danny Gottlieb's Brooklyn Blues. Steig was there way back in the beginning of the jazz fusion movement fronting Jeremy and the Satyrs and jamming with Tommy Bolin and Jan Hammer. The flute can cut through any din. Ultimately, though, it is of limited use in a starring role on a continuing basis because of a lack of dynamic range and obtainable colors. Having a successful career fronting jazz-rock bands with the flute, no matter how good you were, was not in the cards. Over the years, Steig has found ways to expand the sound of his ax through effects. But nothing will be enough.
"Gloria's Step" is a perfect tune for Steig and the band that Gottlieb surrounded him with. Scott LaFaro composed this delicate but swinging number, and famously first recorded it in 1961 (shortly before his untimely death) as the bassist of the Bill Evans Trio. Gottlieb's arrangement has Steig carrying most of the water. Steig is a lyrical player quite capable of original improvisation. All of the players are good. Goldstein plays mostly accompaniment. Abercrombie has a tasty solo and Chip Jackson is given a chance to play the LaFaro part. Gottlieb is up to the task of both rhythmic direction and knowing when not to compete with his melody makers – even on his own album. This is not easy for many drummers to do.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky