Thursday, July 30, 2009

Charles Tolliver Big Band, Emperor March, Half Note

Now I've got to see the Penguin movie, because if it inspired Tolliver to write the title track on this those most be some hip, if flightless, birds. Boffo alto solo from Todd Bashore. Marcus Strickland and Billy Harper also play in a big band that can hold forth with any big band I've heard north of Ellington and Basie.

If that's not enough saxophone goodness, Bill Saxton might top everybody in his tenor solo on In the Trenches. The band's got other instruments, too, and although the session was recorded live in concert, you wouldn't know it from the nearly flawless, but still edgy, playing by all of the musicians. In the Trenches is a wonderful, modern bop homage. Bird, and the birds, live! Also Dizzy.

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