David Gibson – End of the Tunnel – Posi-tone PR8082, 48:40 ****:
(David Gibson, trombone; Julius Tolentino, alto sax; Jared Gold, Hammond organ; Quincy Jones, drums)
David Gibson has a fine pedigree. After coming to New York from Oklahoma, his credentials were honed by stays with Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, and James Moody. Playing with this caliber of leaders breaks you in fast.
In 2009, Gibson recorded "A Little Somethin’" with the same group in which he returns with his latest Posi-tone release, End of the Tunnel. Gibson’s latest release earned immediate extended listening for me as it has such a locked-in groove that you want to drink in its pleasures two or three times in a row. It makes both great late night listening as well as funky driving accompaniment. I found myself comparing Gibson’s release to either early Jazz Crusaders with Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson swinging with the keyboards of Joe Sample, or to a 1960s Blue Note organ and horn groovefest.
Herbie Hancock’s “Blind Man, Blind Man” gets the band off to a rousing start. While Gibson and Tolentino honor Hancock’s melody, Jared Gold supplies the grease to lubricate your joints. Gibson solos with authority, both powerfully and in full command. Tolentino’s solo brings to mind Lou Donaldson in its funkiness and dripping with blues.
“Wasabi”, written by Gibson, has the Jazz Crusaders influence with an updated new millennium feel. Quincy Davis and Gold provide the underpinning for the horns to groove on. “Sunday Morning” is churchified soul jazz that begs for a greasy club setting. Gibson reaches for old-school influences in his solo and succeeds in meeting that standard. The title track follows and it kicks into overdrive quickly. Davis sets a blistering pace that seems to inspire Jared Gold.
“A Place of our Own” is a ballad with a bite as Gold adds organ effects and Davis’ powerful drum crescendos demand attention. Gold’s “Splat” brings us back to familiar organ/ horn territory. The relaxed yet swing heavy groove that the quartet sets makes them a great candidate for some touring this Summer on the Festival circuit.
“Preachin” penned by Gold shows this rising Hammond star to have good ears for the rhythms that elevate tight organ/horn groups to the upper echelon of this re-emerging trend that is a happy element of the last ten years. As we lose the last of our old school Hammond masters, younger organ players are happily keeping the tradition alive. Those of us that love this music can’t be happier.
I’d be remiss if I did not mention once again the talents of producer Marc Free and engineer, Nick O’Toole for continuing to bring out some of the best-sounding compact discs with state of the art acoustics-warm, well miked and mixed, and with each instrument never anything but spot on for
both comping and soloing duties.
TrackList: Blind Man, Blind Man, Wasabi, Sunday Morning, End of the Tunnel, A Place of Our Own, Splat, The In-Whim, Preachin’, Blue Rondo
— Jeff Krow