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Time for the Timeless All Stars

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Album Review

For their third CD, this truly all-star collaboration replaces original trombonist Curtis Fuller and welcomes Steve Turre in his place. The high quality of their collective musicianship is unquestionable, and the compositions are familiar to fans of these modern masters. The date takes on more characteristics of a blowing session than previous encounters have. Pianist Cedar Walton's compositions bookend the seven selections. "Cedar's Blues" leads off with liberty and solos for all, shortening up a bah-doo-da-da melody so the improvs can get going. Harold Land's slurry, mushy tenor sax is purposeful and unique for him. Drummer Billy Higgins performs patented solos on this and the closer "Firm Roots," which is taken at a maddeningly rushed tempo, quicker and daunting, also right on the metronomed money. Bassist Buster Williams contributes the easy swinging "Song for Thaddeus," presumably for Thad Jones, with softly singing tenor and trombone in unison — a beauty of a tune. Vibist Bobby Hutcherson's "Cruisin' the Bird" and Turre's "Coastin' With Bobby" are side-saddled, the former a nicely swung, lustrous melody with stair-step, California highway vistas evoked, while the latter is a loping 4/4 with ostinato bass and a perfect melodic vehicle for all, especially Walton. The classic ballad "Theme for Ernie" has late-night horns wafting overhead while Walton's piano flies like an eagle. The Harold Land modal number "Dark Mood" (see Land's CD Xocia's Dance on Muse) is always a treat to hear in 6/8, with the composer's tenor being much brighter than the labyrinth of hues which Walton's deep piano chords suggest. This group just gets better and better; they are all leaders in their own right who find only the rare opportunity to get together for such a combo as this, which truly lives up to its name. Highly recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Pianist Cedar Walton's all-star friends play post-MJQ music. Sometimes heavy, deep, and solemn, sometimes brightly swinging. Includes Curtis Fuller (tb), Bobby Hutcherson (vib),...
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Time for the Timeless All Stars, The Timeless All Stars
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