Todd Herbert: Look Into the Abyss

Track

Look Into the Abyss

Artist

Todd Herbert (tenor sax)

CD

The Tree of Life (Metropolitan MR1128)

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Musicians:

Todd Herbert (tenor sax),

Anthony Wonsey (piano), Dwayne Burno (bass), Jason Brown (drums)

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Composed by Todd Herbert

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Recorded: New York, October 29, 2007

Albumcovertoddherbert-thetreeoflife

Rating: 86/100 (learn more)

Todd Herbert is a native Chicagoan who, as the liner notes tell it, had a mind-blowing experience when first hearing John Coltrane's Live at Birdland. After a stint with organ master Charles Earland and subsequent time with veterans Freddie Hubbard and Jimmy Cobb, Herbert ventured onto the New York jazz club scene as a leader in his own right over the last few years, and deserves a listen from any straight-ahead fan. "Into the Abyss," a driving tune in a minor key, evokes the late-'50s Coltrane influence that is unmistakable in Herbert's playing. Herbert can swing and wail with authority as well as play with endearing sensitivity when appropriate. His tone is pure and deep-throated, and his delivery demonstrates some of Trane's searching quality. Pianist Wonsey's appealing Bobby Timmons-like feel retains its blues tinge, and the rhythm section effectively drives the beat, with a nice break by Brown. Herbert, a fine technician whose music is derivative in nature, seems perfectly content to be a torch carrier rather than a daring innovator. His work is passionate, vastly entertaining and very well executed.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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