Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Avram Fefer Quartet, Testament

Alto-tenor stalwart Avram Fefer and his music have graced these pages happily in the past. Of late he is hitting a new peak, especially with this all-star quartet outing entitled Testament (Clean Feed 557CD). Joining Avram are guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor, a group anyone would be proud to field but they are also really on it for this session. The music nicely synthesizes where Jazz has been and too where it is going, which means in short it is saying something very good indeed.

Chad Taylor energizes the session by not hanging back, but instead giving the music the battery power it so needs to testify properly. He and bassist Revis have been playing, as Avram mentions in the liners, with Fefer since their first days in New York, recording several trio sides and etc. The kinetic magic and the long experience playing together translates into a power that runs at full voltage, with the Revis bass presence a key element in the success of the date.

That Marc Ribot is a guitarist's guitarist I need not tell you who read my columns regularly and anyone who has followed things closely in the past decade. On this outing he is heartened by the rest of the band to shine very brightly indeed.

The compositions are sterling blowing vehicles that let everybody swing forward mightily. Chad pens one, Avram the rest.

Finally one must say that Maestro Fefer comes across like a firebrand on these numbers. He clearly is emboldened and inspired by the quartet to do some of his finest blowing on disk. He is cooking!

I cannot recommend this one strongly enough. It is flat-out HOT! So get it already. It both swings and frees things up like mad.

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