Lafayette Gilchrist: Between Us


Between Us



Soul Progressin' (Hyena HYN 9371)

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Lafayette Gilchrist (piano),

Mike Cerri, Freddy Dunn (trumpets), John Dierker (bass clarinet), Gabriel Ware (alto sax), Gregory L. Thompkins (tenor sax), Anthony “Blue” Jenkins (bass), Nathan Reynolds (drums)


Composed & arranged by Lafayette Gilchrist


Recorded: Silver Spring, MD, date unknown, released 2008


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Lafayette Gilchrist has said that the first record he bought was Money Jungle, featuring the trio of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. His piano style, however, seems to draw most from Andrew Hill, and he even dedicates to Hill his solo piano selection, "Uncrowned," on his new Soul Progressin' CD. Maybe Gilchrist's exposure to both Ellington and Hill can in part explain his impressive orchestrations for his working octet, The New Volcanoes. The pianist's music often exhibits a hardnosed inner-city edge, no doubt reflecting his being raised first in Washington, D.C., and then in Baltimore, where he still resides. Mix in Gilchrist's appreciation of D.C. go-go, soul, funk and hip hop, and the end result is a naturally evolving contemporary vision, unpredictable and non-clichéd. Certainly saxophonist David Murray, who has retained Gilchrist as his pianist since 2000, would agree, as would guitarist Vernon Reid, who recommended him to the late Joel Dorn at Hyena Records.

The captivating track "Between Us" is bolstered by the prevailing hip-hop influenced rhythmic patterns set up by bassist Jenkins and drummer Reynolds. Gilchrist's arrangement induces deeply satisfying colorations from his horn section, with Dierker's bass clarinet the foundation, as an urgent refrain reappears again and again. Gilchrist's semi-abstract solo is delivered with a deliberate, understated delicacy, in contrast to the horns' more aggressive assertions. Dierker's dexterous solo is varied in approach, sometimes guttural, sometimes lyrical. Reynolds's riveting improv precedes the horns' final mellifluous playing of the central motif. Then it's left to just Gilchrist's punched out chords, before he bows out and only bass and drums remain to bring this absorbing performance to an easeful halt.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


  • 1 Peter J. // Dec 29, 2008 at 07:28 AM
    Listening to "Soul Progressin'" and really digging it. Casting around Internet for comment. New version of reading the liner notes.
  • 2 "Cookie GilChrist"(C)(R)TM // Jun 16, 2009 at 01:34 PM
    I had my Jazz Show on CKCK Regina, Saskatchuwan in 1958. My theme song was Senior's Blues By Horace Silver. I would greatly appreciate you passing along my e-mail address to Lafeyette Gilchrist for me. I would consider it an honor and priviledge to meet another GilChrist an a great musican. I must be in our bloodline. Peace and Blessing's to you all. "Cookie GilChrist"(C)(R)TM All Rights Reserved,