Vincent Herring is to the alto saxophone what Hank Mobley was to the tenor saxophone!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Everyone knew Hank Mobley and to this day he is still held in high esteem by critics, scholars, fans, and artists. Mobley was often referred to as the middle weight champion of the tenor and if you follow that logic then Vincent Herring may well be the counter punching alto saxophonist that also does not get the press he so richly deserves. The Uptown Shuffle may well be Herring's coming out party despite the fact he is far from the new kid on the block. This formidable 4tet bangs out a blistering set with a zen like efficiency as they get in and get out of a solo and never get in their own way. A classic working band.
Vincent Herring is a rare breed. An artist whose passion for tradition can only be outshined by his creative enthusiasm finds Herring surrounded by an all star band including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, drummer Joe Farnsworth along with rising star bassist Brandi Disterheft. The swing is at times off the charts with tunes such as the Herring original "Elation." Where the 4tet shows their true chemistry would be when they dial it down a touch with "Love Walked In." Two different tunes with two different styles yet the ferocity of the lyrical passion remains. You simply don't teach that but you can try.
The Vincent Herring musical resume includes Nat Adderly, Phil Woods, and Cedar Walton. While having never met Herring, he strikes me as an improvisational sponge. The cultural by product of his own experience. This is straight ahead and swinging straight from the Big Apple to you. Easily one of the better releases for the year. For a live recording in a club to sound this good is simply insane.
Tracks: Elation; Love Walked In; Tenderly; Uptown Shuffle; The Atholete; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; Strike Up The Band; Don't Let It Go; Big Bertha.