Bridge Quartet – Day – Origin Records

by | Apr 16, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Bridge Quartet – Day – Origin Records – 82506 ****:

(Phil Dwyer, saxophone; Darrell Grant, piano; Tom Wakeling, bass; Alan Jones, drums)

The idea of “bridge” has several connotations in connection with this new CD.  It was recorded in Portland, Oregon where 11 bridges connect the west side of the city to the east side. The players see music itself as a bridge between people, ideologies, cultures and so on, and the form of a tune is a bridge between the performers.  Finally, the quartet was created when drummer Jones visited from Europe where he was living, and saxist Dwyer came down from his home in Canada to play with Grant and Wakeling in Portland. They decided what they were doing merited a studio recording, which this CD is. But at the same time they were playing some live gigs in the evening after recording during the day, so a second CD titled “Night” (not furnished for review) has also been released preserving one of those performances.

I’m quite familiar with the versatile style of Darrell Grant, a jazz piano  transplant from New York City, but was unfamiliar with saxist Phil Dwyer.  He’s in the spotlight on most of these eight tracks, on some of them achieving almost Coltrane-like sheets of sound. That would be true of his solos on the longest track here, Exidence, an original by drummer Jones.  Angel Street has a nice loping rhythm, and Strode Rode is an uptempo blowing number for Dwyer, with Jones drums urging along the rest of the quartet. That tune happens to be by Sonny Rollins, one of whose best albums was titled The Bridge. I liked Italian Sorrow, an aptly-named slow and sad but lyrical ballad sounding like it could have come from an Italian movie soundtrack. Altogether a most enjoyable quartet session.

TrackList: Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, Exidence, Angel Street, Where or When, Strode Rode, Italian Sorrow, Milestones, Three for Three.

 – John Henry

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