Something Else Reviews

CD Review:

Joe Chambers Horace to Max

His first album in four years and his second for the Savant label (sister label of HighNote), Joe Chambers’ album title pays homage to Max Roach and Horace Silver, one for whom he was closely associated with directly (Roach) and the other with whom he was closely associated with that person’s well-known sidemen (Silver). For this album full of pure post-bop goodness, Chambers himself chooses prominent sideman of the current generation, such as Xavier Davis (piano) and Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone).

As you might expect, there are Horace and Max tunes in here—three from Roach, one from Silver—but Chambers also tackles tunes from Shorter, Monk and Kenny Dorham, as well as his own originals. The straightforward arrangements on these songs don’t offer exciting new revelations, the treasures of this record are found in the firm execution and quiet confidence of the musicians involved. Chambers the Vibes Player reminds me some of latter period Bobby Hutcherson, one of the many cats Chambers contributed his drumming for on classic records. And Chambers can still drum like a champ; his style remains in the same vicinity as Roy Haynes. Nicole Guiland contributes vocals for a couple of tracks, and if torch singing is your thing, there’s nothing not to like about that. The best cover of the batch is Marcus Miller’s “Portia,” first appearing on Miles Davis’ Tutu. Stripped of its over-produced veneer, Chambers finds the beauty of its mysterious, moody melody (and Xavier Davis contributes a fine piano solo).

In contrast to Wallace Roney’s CD cover, Chambers’ looks just like one of this classic Blue Note album covers. The other difference is that the music roughly matches the cover. Good thing.
Joe Chambers Music for Sale

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.