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Cedar WALTON Quintet – Cedar's Blues 1985

Posted in Cedar WALTON, JAZZ on December 21, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Cedar WALTON Quintet – Cedar’s Blues 1985
1995 Issue.

Jazz

Cedar Walton has always been an ambitious pianist. On this live 1985 recording, he unveils some pretty thorny compositions, rife with unusual harmonic movement, yet still sounds like the traditional, post-bop pianist/composer that he is.
“Insight”, a Walton original, sets the tone. Eschewing a bebop-derived harmonic language, the melody is carried by tenor saxophonist Bob Berg and trombonist Curtis Fuller, while Walton’s much-recorded rhythm section, Billy Higgins and David Williams, supply vamps, an occasional Miles-like spaciousness, and keep the flow going. “Over the Rainbow” is given an ornate piano introduction, and settles into a lovely trio groove. As always, Billy Higgins drumming swings and illuminates. His odd breaks into double-time provide a needed narrative touch. Walton’s “Fiesta Espanola” is a lively Latin number into which Bob Berg’s saxophone pyrotechnics inject a jazz-fusion energy, eliciting a roar from the crowd. Higgins’ drum solo, using mostly tom-toms and rims, is well-recorded,musical and interesting. “Cedar’s Blues” is a direct and appealing composition. Curtis Fuller turns in a melodic, but slightly stiff solo, Bob Berg burns it up, and while Walton spins long and logical lines. In this tune and the album-closer, Walton’s uptempo “Ugetsu”, Higgins shines.
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Although the Eastern Rebellion name is not used on this release, the personnel of the quintet (pianist Cedar Walton, tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, trombonist Curtis Fuller, bassist David Williams and drummer Billy Higgins) is the same as the mid-’80s version of that hard bop group. Their live set (recorded in Bologna, Italy) features the band performing four Walton originals (including “Cedar’s Blues” and “Ugestu”) plus “Over the Rainbow.” The results may not be unique but the solos of Walton, Berg and Fuller are consistently satisfying, making this date easily recommended to hard bop collectors.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
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Bob Berg- (Tenor Sax)
Curtis Fuller- (Trombone)
Cedar Walton- (Piano)
David Williams- (Bass)
Billy Higgins- (Drums)
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01. Insight
02. Over The Rainbow
03. Fiesta Espanola
04. Cedar’s Blues
05. Ugetsu
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