Six of the 11 selections on this CD feature Joe Lovano on tenor in a quartet with pianist Werner, bassist Marc Johnson, and Erskine; Lovano (who would soon hit it big) already sounds quite mature and creative. Three of the other numbers have slightly larger groups (with guitarist John Scofield, tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer, and trumpeter Randy Brecker appearing on some of the cuts), Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way" is taken by the Werner-Johnson-Erskine trio, and the brief "But Is It Art?" is a drum solo. Throughout the date, the solos uplift the material and make this CD a worthy purchase for listeners who enjoy challenging but sometimes accessible post-bop music.
Better known as a big band and session player, tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Bob Mintzer expanded his playing and his repertoire on this '90 quartet date. Working with guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Marc Johnson, and drummer Peter Erskine, Mintzer moved into more probing, unpredictable, and challenging areas and played with more fire and conviction. Abercrombie, Johnson, and Erskine each fulfilled their reputations; the results were both enlightening and surprising.
This 1993 recording of John Abercrombie's trio with a guest appearance by British saxophone giant and composer John Surman is, without question, a trademark ECM session. There's the spacious, pristine, icy production by label boss Manfred Eicher from his studio in Oslo. Next, all the players are ECM staples with the exception of Erskine, who plays everything from pop jazz to classical music. But there are many things that distinguish it as well. For one, Surman is playing here with a fire not heard since the early '70s. Whether he is blowing a baritone or soprano saxophone or his bass clarinet, he's cutting loose.
The Abercrombie/Erskine/Mintzer/Patitucci Band (a/k/a The Hudson Project) is comprised of four of the most acclaimed musicians in contemporary music, each of whom has led his own band, and received great critical acclaim both as a composer and a player. On this DVD, the band performs a set of eight brilliant compositions—two by each member of the group—which range in style from the spiritual ballad feel of “The Well” by John Patitucci
Peter's second video covers advanced musical styles and ethnic grooves such as samba, calypso, Afro-Latin, reggae, jazz, and funk. The emphasis is on modern drumming and improvisation. All these styles are masterfully illustrated in trio performances with Marc Johnson and John Abercrombie.
Eric Johnson is held in such high regard as a guitarist, and his releases of new recordings are so infrequent, that a significant part of his discography has come to consist of juvenilia and other archival recordings…
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the hippest, hardest albums that trombonist JJ Johnson ever cut for Columbia – a session we'd rank right up there with his amazing JJ Inc record, and like that one a really cooking hardbop record that maybe even rivals the best on Blue Note and Prestige at the time! As with that gem, the strength here is really the group – not just tremendous trombone from JJ, but great work from Nat Adderley on trumpet, Bobby Jaspar on tenor and flute, Cedar Walton on piano, Spanky DeBrest on bass, and Albert Heath on drums – all working with a soaring, soulful energy that's a lot more hardbop heavy than you might expect from JJ Johnson on some of his other projects for the label.