George Adams-Dannie Richmond: More Sightings
Gentlemen's Agreement (Soul Note 121057)
Composed by George Adams.
Recorded: New York City, Jan. 11-12, 1983
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
No, this was not a Charles Mingus tribute band. Mingus Dynasty had taken on that responsibility right after Mingus's death in 1979. However, the adventurous spirit of Mingus lived on in this quintet as well, made up as it was of four Mingus alumnióDannie Richmond (23 years), Jimmy Knepper (6), George Adams (4), and Hugh Lawson (briefly in the mid-'70's). Perhaps not quite as dynamic as the the better-known group Adams co-led with another Mingus sideman, Don Pullen, this Adams-Richmond unit also produced its fair share of provocative music.
Adams' tune "More Sightings" is played in unison by tenor and trombone, a rousing theme that alternates between smooth linear passages and jabbing machine-gun like bursts. The fiery, earthy style of Adams is on full display during his solo, as he varies his attack incessantly and yet always keeps the composition's harmonic structure in sight. Knepper responds with a gruff but nimble exploration of his own. Lawson's lively, boppish solo makes you appreciate once again this largely unheralded and forgotten pianist. Richmond then expertly delineates the components of the theme, bringing it to life percussively with nary a wasted drum stroke. This was an ensemble with a distinctive sound, comprised of players who possessed strikingly individual styles.
Reviewer: Scott Albin