Jaleel Shaw: Flipside




Jaleel Shaw (alto sax)


Optimism (Changu CR001)

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Jaleel Shaw (alto sax), Robert Glasper (piano), Lage Lund (guitar), Jonathan Blake (drums),

Joe Martin (bass)


Composed by Jaleel Shaw


Recorded: Brooklyn NY, June 25-26 2007


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

"FlipsideĒ won for Shaw his second ASCAP Young Jazz Composerís Award and itís not that difficult to make out why. Itís high-octane post-bop that veers around short, arpeggiated constructions, abruptly changing time signatures, slinky unison lines and frantic but controlled energy. Itís not the kind of tune that will sound good if the musicians playing it donít have the chops for it. Luckily, these cats do.

The composition leaves plenty of space for stretching out, too, and everyone save for Martin gets a solo turn. Shaw begins with syncopated ascending and descending notes, Glasper comes next with some inspired middle register right-hand runs and Blake rolls and rumbles Blakey-style on his kit. Lund gets the spotlight right at the end, playing in a very fluid style that appropriately brings the song to a soft landing.

When a song is this well constructed, good musicians will want to play harder for it. ďFlipsideĒ is that kind of song which inspired everyone to work their butts off.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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