Jay Hoggard: The Fountain
Jay Hoggard (vibes)
The Fountain (Muse 5450)
Jay Hoggard (vibes),
James Weidman (piano), Marcus McLaurine (bass), Yoron Israel (drums).
Composed by Jay Hoggard.
Recorded: Stamford, CT, July 10, 1991
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard began his career straddling the worlds of avant-garde and mainstream jazz, but gradually focused on straight-ahead fare. On his 1978 debut recording, the otherwise progressive Solo Vibraphone, he dropped in a version of "Air Mail Special" as a salute to one of his idols, Lionel Hampton. And Hoggard's most recent release, Swing 'Em Gates, is a full-CD tribute to Hamp.
On Hoggard's 1991 The Fountain, the title tune is an abstract, spiritual piece, the freest selection by far amongst worthwhile renditions of standards and jazz classics. Hoggard's vibes open the track tranquilly with cascading runs and a shimmering soundscape, accompanied by McLaurine's vivid arco bass. The vibes-bass textures intensify until drummer Israel finally enters the fray. Hoggard then introduces his first truly extended lines thus far, which add melodic substance to the piece, as the bassist bows an insistent ostinato. The next section commences with Israel's forceful mallet vamp, until Hoggard reemerges with a pulsing, circular motif over which the drummer improvises. Pianist Weidman now unexpectedly joins in, playing dissonant note clusters, urgent chords and then delicate tremolos. Hoggard returns to his earlier riff, and Israel to his previous vamp to bring satisfying closure to a compelling performance.
Reviewer: Scott Albin