Judgment Day 2


aec.cdb5637442510.2 11/14/06 New

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Review Text The second volume of recordings done in 2005 from the Rashied Ali quintet has the same personnel as the first, falls along similar lines in hard-to-post bop elements, repeats two selections from the previous CD, and adds a pair of well-known standards. A less intense extension of the prior album, the group does keep the home fires burning, while Ali is the driving force that assures the music be placed squarely on the edge, only at times boiling over. Trumpeter Jumaane Smith is a real find, a post-Freddie Hubbard/Woody Shaw stylist who clearly studied with Charles Tolliver, displaying a sharp-tinged bite in his playing. Berklee College graduate Lawrence Clarke takes up a post-John Coltrane stance, but he's studied with fellow tenor Bill Pierce, himself a foremost proponent of the progressive style removed from the Michael Brecker school. Pianist Greg Murphy's written contribution to this date, "Skane's Refrain," starts things off, similar to Judgment Day, Vol. I's "Shied Indeed," a more forward-moving bopper with a great, inventive melody. There's a cover of "Thing for Joe," James Blood Ulmer's furious-fast hard bopper removed from the blues fusion the composer is well known for. A marvelous modal piano from Murphy and a terse drum solo in the middle ground this track, a tribute to Ulmer's former bandmate Joe Henderson. Bassist Joris Teepe leads on his bluesy swinger "Flight #643," sporting an under-the-surface, subtle melody, while "Yesterday (J-Man) Tomorrow" is as frantic a post-bop piece as you'll ever hear, with the band going for the jugular in a skittering, short melody, wasting absolutely no time blowing strong and long solos, especially Clarke on tenor sax. There's a lengthy feature for Clarke on the ten-minute "Lush Life" with Murphy's cascading piano on the second third of the melody, and the third repeat line with both horns before speeding the ballad to half-time. "Judgment Day" is an alternate take from Vol. I, as is "Multi-Culti," while a typical version of "'Round Midnight" is included featuring Smith. While not as strong as the first recording, Ali's quintet accounts well for itself as a fully realized modern and progressive jazz ensemble that should be known for its excellence and high-level musicianship. Ali faced his judgment day in the summer of 2009, but left behind a pair of recordings that should be universally praised and roundly applauded. ~ Michael G. Nastos

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Skane's Refrain - 7:09
  2. 2. Lush Life - 10:50
  3. 3. Thing for Joe - 8:03
  4. 4. Judgment Day - 8:20
  5. 5. Flight # 643 - 6:09
  6. 6. 'Round Midnight - 8:40
  7. 7. Yesterday (J-Man) Tomorrow - 5:28
  8. 8. Multi-Culti - 7:42

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