Archive for June 7th, 2016

Rata-tet – Arctic

When one thinks of woodwind, or reed, instruments in jazz, the thoughts usually are centered around saxophone, flute or clarinet. Ratatet believes otherwise. The bassoon can be as effective. The group proves this with its debut, Arctic (Ridgeway Records, 2016).

Drummer Alan Hall is the leader, who also is arranger and composer. The other members are Paul Hanson, bassoon and tenor sax; John Gove, trombone; Dillon Vado, vibraphone; Greg Sankovich, organ, acoustic and electric piano; and Jeff Denson, acoustic bass, fretless and fretted electric bass, and vocals. Additional musicians who join for “Returning” are Paul McCandless, English horn, oboe and soloist; Joseph Hebert, cello; and Jonathan Alford, keyboard.

Vado carries the melody for the moderate, easygoing “Father’s and Sons.” The horns play overlapping phrases during the introduction and chorus. Denson lets his fingers do the walking on the acoustic bass, stretching out a bit during the middle break. Sankovich follows on piano, in turn followed by Gove. Throughout, Hall keeps it together, complementing each soloist while allowing himself a few moments to shine.

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