Monday, July 6, 2015

Joshua Breakstone, 2nd Avenue, The Return of the Cello-Quartet

Joshua Breakstone plays some excellent bop guitar. He is as vibrant an exponent of the traditional bop style as anybody out there today. He has a considerable line-creating inventiveness that rivals the greats. I've covered a fair amount of his music here and in Cadence when I wrote for them. His new album reaffirms his importance with four trio tracks and five reuniting his cello quartet from the 2014 date With the Wind and the Rain.

2nd Avenue (Capri 74137-2) is the name of the new one. With Joshua are the excellent players Lisle Atkinson on bass and Andy Watson, drums, a perfect rhythm section for the swinging Breakstone approach. For the Cello Quartet numbers Mike Richmond's cello returns.

The repertoire is lively and unexpected. Joshua unearths neglected treasures like Cannonball's "Home," Konitz's "Thingin'," Dexter's "Evergreenish," plus some American Songbook items like "The Lamp is Low." Finally there are some excellent blowing vehicles in Joshua's title tune and "Hit It" by Lisle.

The numbers with the full quartet have that special sound in arrangements and solos with the pizzicato cello. It's a beautiful blend and of course will remind you favorably of the things Oscar Pettiford did on his own and with Duke and Strayhorn. But as an extension into today.

This is an album that keeps growing on you as you hear it. There are no wasted notes. Everything is centered and central, sounding as current as can be yet working its way out of bop tradition.

Strongly recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment