Thursday, October 8, 2009

Brian Groder Teams with Burton Greene

Brian Groder? I'll admit I've missed his efforts as trumpeter and bandleader in the new, new thing music realm. I checked his website and found he's released a number of albums. If they are anything like his new one, Broder & Greene (Latham), they are well worth hearing.

This recent outing finds Broder surrounded by some heavy company. Burton Greene, for starters, is one of the foundation pianist of free music, beginning in a very interesting group with Alan Silva in the early sixties, continuing to thrive with a number of seminal recordings for ESP and BYG, and on from there. He has from the very start forged his own path and he sounds today as good as he ever has, which is very good by any index. Rob Brown plays extraordinarily loquacious alto sax. He never seems at a loss for lines nor does his inspiration flag. Adam Lane is one of the premier bassists of the new music and a composer and leader in his own right. If I were only allowed to name a handful of bassists that were most actively innovative today, he would be on it. Ray Sage I don't know much about, but his drumming on Groder & Greene achieves exactly what is needed: a loose freetime player who can carry a pulse well if called upon, and consistently invents within the group setting. Well, then there is Brian Groder himself. The evidence of this disk suggests he is a trumpeter anyone would welcome on a free date. He's limber and filled with good musical ideas.

That's the lineup individually. Collectively they come up with a program that updates the classic free date with plenty of permutations, landmarks, signposts and traffic signals, always showing green (or is it Greene?). Seriously this is excellent music and some of the best Burton Greene in a long time. But it's everybody shining. I don't give out stars, that always reminds me of second grade penmanship, but if I did, this would get the highest rating. Grab a copy and give it a spin.

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