Randy Halberstadt – Flash Point – Origin

by | Oct 27, 2010 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Randy Halberstadt – Flash Point – Origin 82571, 65:33 *****:

(Randy Halberstadt – piano; Jeff Johnson – bass; Mark Ivester – drums; Mark Taylor – alto sax; Thomas Marriott – trumpet/Flugelhorn)

Pianist Randy Halberstadt is a major player in the Pacific Northwest Jazz Scene.  Flash Point is another fine presentation of post-bop jazz coming out of Seattle.  Randy recorded this album with his working trio of Jeff Johnson-bass and Mark Ivester – drums adding Mark Taylor – alto sax and Thomas Marriott – trumpet to make it a quintet.  Randy composed six of the nine songs recorded.  

Flash Point begins with “Rigenia” and Randy steps out on piano with his trio to be joined in a few bars by the horns.  It is truly a gem of good sounds of the post-bop genre with a minor sounding melody.  

A very different take comes with “On Green Dolphin Street”.  It has ever changing rhythms to set your mind and ears to working.  Randy takes a generous solo and is joined in and out by the rest of the quintet taking their turns.  

Randy’s composition “Unspoken” is a sweet blues piece with interaction between the players.  Marriott is using a muted trumpet and Taylor dances sweetly with his alto sax with that rainy day, slow afternoon feel.

“Five by Three” glides smoothly along again with each musician taking a solo.  The trumpet and sax join together with some good harmony. “Woofer” is a really fun piece with Randy playing on the low end of piano in unison with Johnson on bass countering with Marriott and Taylor on their horns.  

“Better Than One” is tricky in its rhythms and a nice piece of ear candy.  At times all the players pick up the melody in unison, then solo.  The album closes with Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice,” featuring the trio only on this nice breezy tune.

Flash Point is a great listenable album.  The sound quality is excellent, and the players can each be individually heard.  I would say if you love the post-bop sound, you will be pleased with this album start to finish.


1.  Rigenia
2.  On Green Dolphin Street
3.  Unspoken
4.  Five by Three
5.  Solar
6.  Discovery
7.  Woofer
8.  Better than One
9.  Beatrice

— Tim Taylor

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