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Summit Conference

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Album Review

For this inspired 1994 date, veteran bassist Reggie Workman assembled four fellow avant-garde luminaries: pianist Andrew Hill, saxophonist Sam Rivers, trombonist Julian Priester, and drummer Pheeroan akLaff. By the usual standards of these highly adventurous players, the record is relatively accessible, but it does makes for challenging listening. The quintet opens with "Encounter," a busy and bold selection by the late John Carter. Overall, only Workman's "Summit Conference" and Priester's "Breath" feature sustained periods of cacophony, yet even these freer pieces are built around a defined melody and structure. Sonelius Smith's "Conversation" and Rivers' "Solace" bump along with Latin rhythms; Priester shines on both tracks. The trombonist is also the dominant voice on Rivers' fast-swinging "Meteor." Rivers plays soprano sax on Workman's "Estelle's Theme" and flute on Hill's "Gone," the latter a duet with Hill that closes the session on an austere yet calming note. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Biography

Born: 26 June 1937 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Reggie Workman has long been one of the most technically gifted of all bassists, a brilliant player whose versatile style fits into both hard bop and very avant-garde settings. He played piano, tuba, and euphonium early on but settled on bass in the mid-'50s. After working regularly with Gigi Gryce (1958), Red Garland, and Roy Haynes, he was a member of the John Coltrane Quartet for much of 1961, participating in several important recordings and even appearing with Coltrane and Eric Dolphy on a half-hour...
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Summit Conference, Reggie Workman
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