The Michael Carvin Experience goes back to the future with a tremendous debut!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Not hip to drummer Michael Carvin? The improvisational resume of Carvin includes work with such giants as Dizzy Gilespie, McCoy Tyner and Pat Martino. Flash Forward is the first release for Carvin since the 2006 Marsalis Honors Series and he has assembled a premier quartet. Why the eight year gap? We all need a break and apparently the rigors and mental gymnastics necessary to deal with some people in the business were taking their toll.
Flash Forward brings melody out of the jazz witness protection program with odd meters along with a rhythmic intensity that embraces these familiar standards without losing the integrity of the originals. Predictable? No and this is the foundation of why the release could easily be a sleeper for Grammy consideration. Sure, this is not necessarily a new concept but rarely will one hear it pulled off with such precision. An open ended spatial attack from a formidable 4tet with a unified approach and a melodic sense of urgency. Tunes include a danceable shuffle beat to "Autumn Leaves" along with a more Afro-Cuban riff on "Night In Tunisia." Perhaps the most impressive showcase would be the R & B infused "You Stepped Out Of A Dream." Flash Forward is a key player in the new sound of modern jazz.
The Carvin Experience is that rare improvisational collective that functions with a lyrical consciousness, harmonic conversations from the soul. Kenny Loftis shows amazing range on saxophone, Yayoi Ikawa adds nuanced flavor while bassist Jansen Cinco may well be the glue that binds this band together.
An absolutely stellar recording!
Tracks: So What; Sayonara Blues; In Walked Bud; Same Shame; Night In Tunisia; You Go To My Head; You Stepped Out Of A Dream; Autumn Leaves