Rich Halley 4 Crossing the Passes

Rich Halley 4 Crossing the Passes
7
Inspired by a daunting hike across the Wallowa Mountain range of Oregon with drummer son Carson, tenor saxophonist Rich Halley is clearly in shape to meet the challenges of playing flat-out, rough-and-ready free-jazz. His sound is brawny and brawling, and his playing is rooted in hard swinging, hard bop. The piano-less quartet lets Halley range freely on tunes like "Traversing the Maze," with its start-stop structure and give-and-take interplay, with long-time running mate/plunger-mute-wielding trombonist Michael Vlatkovich. Bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley are high quality, listening, responsive improvisers and attentive rhythm section supportive players, yielding and then jumping in to assert themselves, as the creative moment requires. Bass and drums dig in especially hard on "Smooth Curve of the Bow," with a funky, rock-ish groove, over which tenor and trombone shout Halley's line. Each of the 11 tunes has distinct, differentiated characters — no filler. What is rewarding about this recording is that you get a good idea of what this gusty group sound like live. (Pine Eagle)