Jimmy Greene: Mission Statement

Greene’s great facility as a composer and arranger comes from finding endless harmonic possibilities out of the tried-and-true post-bop format, and that’s amply demonstrated on “Mission Statement.” He pairs off Davis and Rogers to state the theme as a restless current. Meanwhile, Greene himself and Lund set a fluid counter line. Even in the chorus, Greene sets up opposing statements between himself and Davis. Harland shuffles and stammers throughout, barely staying behind the front line. The leader shows just as much creative intensity in his solo, blowing with the fire of his old mentor, alto great Jackie McLean, but using the meaty tone of his tenor. Lund follows with a more introspective, soulful outpouring that temporarily winds down the tune, and Harland helps to bring it to an end with a blistering eruption.

As a song that offers much of what is talented about Jimmy Greene, “Mission Statement” is just that.

March 31, 2009 · 0 comments


Robert Glasper: J Dillalude

Robert Glasper is the champion of jazz and hip-hop. Who do the hip-hop musicians go to when they need that steady riff or consistent phrase? Houston born pianist Robert Glasper. After entering the jazz world performing with the likes of Cassandra Wilson, Glasper has equally established himself as one of the main musicians for rapper/actor Mos Def, Common and A Tribe Called Quest front man Q-Tip. On this track, Glasper pays tribute to the late great hip-hop producer Jay-Dee aka J-Dilla with the song "J Dillalude." Though the nature of the song is very simple and doesn't feature much soloing, Glasper's trio cook up the perfect homage to J-Dilla, who died in 2006, with a nice blend of soulful harmonies and head nodding drum beats and bass lines. The song is a montage of different Dilla beats but features the wonderful inflections that Glasper is known for providing. A wonderful song from one of the most promising and up and coming talents in all of music.

March 23, 2009 · 0 comments


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