Brad Turner Quartet with guest Seamus Blake – Jump Up – Cellar Live Records

by | Jul 22, 2019 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Brad Turner Quartet with guest Seamus Blake – Jump Up – Cellar Live Records CM 23018 –  ****

(Brad Turner – trumpet, flugelhorn; Seamus Blake – tenor sax; Bruno Hubert – piano, Fender Rhodes;  Andre Lachance – acoustic bass; Dylan Van Der Schyff – drums)

Jump Up, the new release by Canadian trumpeter, Brad Turner, with guest tenor saxist, Seamus Blake, continues the tradition of top flight releases on Cory Weeds’ label, Cellar Live Records. This label specializes in well recorded straight ahead jazz, often times recorded live. Cory gives free rein to both established  and upcoming artists, to explore their musical visions. As Weeds is a veteran saxophonist himself, his ear for new talent is a given, that ensures well thought out groupings that will mesh. Musicians like Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jerry Weldon, and Joe Magnarelli know that they are in good hands, and will get a quality recording on this label.

Brad Turner and Cory go way back to their days at Capilano College (now University) in the 1990s, when Weeds was a student and Brad was teaching. Turner recorded a CD with Blake for Cellar Live in the late 90s, so it was an easy decision to bring Turner’s working quartet back to Vancouver for a studio recording on Dec. 30, 2018. The group prepared by playing three nights just before at a local club in town. It went so well that a live track (“Catastrophizer”) has been included on this CD.

What is immediately evident on listening to this release is how well Turner and Blake blend on the ensemble passages. It brings to mind the Blue Note releases from the 1950s and 60s when Lee Morgan or Freddie Hubbard were partnered with the tenor masters of that period. There is an easy alliance and rapport, answering each others phrases, vim and vigor blending with polish and panache.

It begins with “Poco” and the burnished horn mix, in the pocket, and the feel good vibe that well recorded hard bop brings. Pianist, Bruno Hubert, provides swinging, sparkling accompaniment. On the title track there is a call and response from the two horns, before they each chart their own course. I love the brashness and lyricism that Turner’s trumpet brings.

The Fender Rhodes is utilized on to tracks (“Likes” and “Superlux”). Its percolating rhythms bring a CTI funky feel that ups the energy, and broadens the sound mix. “Not a Dream” is a ballad that features Hubert on piano.

“The Enthusiast” covers a lot of ground ranging from NOLA to a freer post bop, before closing with some funky bluesy choruses anchored by Andre Lachance’s bass. The live final track, “Catastrophizer,” at over eleven minutes, is a frenetic free blowing romp.

There is much to recommend here. It is easy to see why Cory Weeds was excited to bring back Turner and company to Canada, both in studio and live. This quintet cooks…

Jump Up
Not a Dream
The Enthusiast
Little People

—Jeff Krow

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