Saturday, April 6, 2013

Melba A Tribute To Melba Liston By Saxophonist/Composer Geof Bradfield Origin 2013

Geof Bradfield Melba!Melba! has been long overdue. A suite for jazz septet, there are historical implications for amazing yet for the most past unheralded arranger trombonist. One key note brought to mind is the relationship between Liston and her "discovery" through such amazing recordings as Uhuru Afrika and the Spirits of Pur Ancestors.

Bradfield further notes that extreme instrumental virtuosity and the raw color and passion that indicated a depth of emotional expression seldom head today.

For the concert recordings and performances of Melba! Bradfield recruited trumpeter Victor Garcia, trombonist Joel Adams along with pianist Ryan Cohan, guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Clark Summers and drummer George Fludas. Essentially this is the same working band minus Adams that made their appearance on the saxophonists acclaimed 2010 Origin release African Flowers which draws heavy influence from Weston/Liston recordings.

Melba Liston appreciates the way deceptively subtle nuances that tie together African music, Ellington and the dynamic tension of bebop and harmony. Liston placed a premium on privacy and perhaps this accounts for her lack of familiarity as compared to her contemporaries such as Gil Evans and Oliver Nelson.

Geof Bradfield did some remarkable work with Melba! In such a way that some recently uncovered Gil Evans has gained a second life, Melba too is well on her way is taking her rightful place along her peers.

4 STARS.

Tracks: Kansas City Child; Central Avenue; Dizzy Gillespie; Randy Weston; Solo Saxophone Introduction; Detroit/Kingston; Homecoming; Let Me Not Lose My Dream.

Personnel: Geof Bradfield: tenor, soprano and bass clarinet; Victor Garcia: trumpet; Joel Adams: trombone; Jeff Parker: guitar; Ryan Cohan: piano; Clark Sommers: bass; George Fludas: drums and percussion; Maggie Burrell.