Stacy Dillard: Three Sides (Ol' Faithful)
Three Sides (Ol' Faithful)
Stacy Dillard (tenor sax)
One (Smalls SRCD 0044)
Composed by Stacy Dillard.
Recorded: New York, November 3, 2008
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
"Three Sides (Ol' Faithful)" has a '70s/'80s major-label vibe, thanks in no small part to the inclusion of James Hurt's Fender Rhodes piano and Craig Magnano's guitar; the Rhodes is forever fixed in that era, as is Magnano's slightly distorted, swinging/rocking post-McLaughlin sound. The rhythm section alternates an easy, New Orleans funk groove with a relaxed straight-ahead swing under tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard's sure-handed reading of the melody and subsequent quick-fingered improvisation. Dillard's a strong, aggressive player. He states his case with dead certainty, without betraying a hint of vulnerability. As soloists, Hurt and Magnano are solid post-boppers, nice players if not quite able to match Dillard's heightened level of energy and overall technical facility. Drummer Donald Edwards is the sideman who most conspicuously matches the leader in terms of invention and intensity. Through no fault of Dillard, whose extraordinary chops and vivid imagination impress, the performance is professional without being especially memorable.
Reviewer: Chris Kelsey