Stablemates

A
a
-
Composer(s):
Various
Performer:
Roots: Arthur Blythe (ss, as); Nathan Davis (ss, as, ts); Chico Freeman (ss, as, ts); Sam Rivers (as, ts); Don Pullen (p); Santi Debriano (b); Idris Muhammad (d)
Label:
In & Out Records
Catalogue Number:
IOR 7021-2
Performance:
starstarstarstarnostar
Sound:
starstarstarstarnostar
4
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
All-star repertoire band Roots has, until now, aimed at interpreting jazz’s staple saxophone fare by including original material dedicated to particular saxophonists. But with Stablemates, the band has departed somewhat from this brief. The group’s main attraction, however, remains its facility at filtering the overtly familiar – Jimmy Forrest’s ‘Night Train’ or Oliver Nelson’s ‘Stolen Moments’ – through the imaginative sensibilities of its stellar front line to produce startlingly original versions of material – from swing, through R&B, to bop and beyond. Thus, Roots not only renders jazz’s arbitrary labels redundant but also produces infectiously enjoyable music of a multi-layered subtlety. Chris Parker
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