Album review. Drummer Alvin Queen with an outstanding quintet for his 2006 album, now re-released by Enja.
Release Date: September 25th 2006
Re-release date: December 15th 2009
Availabilty: CD, MP3 download
Drummer Alvin Queen assembled an outstanding quintet for his 2006 album 'I Ain't Looking At You', now re-released by Enja. The band is: Terell Stafford (trumpet and flugelhorn), Jesse Davis (alto sax), Mike LeDonne (Hammond organ), Peter Bernstein (guitar) and Alvin Queen (drums).
From the opening ebullience of Shirley Horn's 'There's Blues Everywhere' through to the closing upfront take on Don Patterson's 'Mellow Soul', here is blues based jazz that has real presence and could be offered as a clear example of music as unrestrained joy. If that sounds too strong; just listen.
Alvin Queen, photo Hans Speekenbrink
Readers of this blog will know how highly we rate Peter Bernstein. His playing here, riding on Alvin Queen's rock steady beats, is as strong and directed as any in his recorded career. Mike LeDonne on Hammond B5 is also close to his best. The horns harmonise well and there is telling soloing from both Terrell Stafford and Jesse Davis (who contributes the title composition).
Yet the album is much more than a straight ahead blues burner. The choice of material precludes that. McCoy Tyner's modal piece 'Contemplation' takes on a new life when based around Hammond B5. Horace Silver's 'Nutville' is similarly transformed, as is Victor Feldman's 'Seven Steps To Heaven', so well known as a Miles Davis standard.
Uplifting, infectious, stirring, danceable jazz at its very best.
To preview and purchase Alvin Queen "I Ain't Looking At You" on CD at amazon:
To preview and purchase Alvin Queen "I Ain't Looking At You" on MP3 at amazon:
Alvin Queen homepage
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