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Present Tense

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Album Review

On his third CD, vibraphonist Joe Locke leads a solid quartet which includes pianist Kenny Werner, bassist Ron McClure, and drummer Ronnie Burrage. Locke's virtuosity on his instrument is demonstrated throughout the date. The opening medley begins with a solo by the leader of "Masada" (an introspective piece written by a friend of his, saxophonist Danny Wilensky) and the rhythm section joins him as he segues into a brisk take of the waltz "Summernight." Tenor saxophonist Larry Schneider is added on several tracks, including a dark but swinging take of "All of You" and a turbocharged run through "You Say You Care." Locke also wrote several originals, including the unpredictable "Smoke and Mirrors," which was originally written as an introduction to Miles Davis' "Nardis," and a brief duet with Werner, "Heart of Nowhere." This 1990 release was an early indicator of Joe Locke's arrival on the jazz scene, which was followed by many additional strong studio sessions as the 20th century drew to a close. Post-bop fans should consider this CD an essential acquisition.

Biography

Born: March 18, 1959 in Palo Alto, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in northern California but raised in the northeastern U.S., Joe Locke is a hard bop/post-bop vibist whose main influences include Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson. Locke was a child when he moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Rochester, NY, where he started playing piano and drums at age eight before taking up the vibraphone at 13. Locke, whose father taught classical music, started out playing rock but got heavily into straight-ahead jazz in his early teens. As a teenager, he studied...
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Present Tense, Joe Locke
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