Sunday, July 02, 2006

A couple of more interesting torrents have come down the pike recently, including a concert of trumpeter Roy Campbell at the hallowed rock 'n' roll venue CBGB's in New York on May 4, 2003. Along for the ride are Joe Morris on bass, Sabir Mateen on saxophones, flute and clarinet and Luther Grey on drums. Roy is very relaxed, engaging in banter with the crowd for quite some time before launching into the set. The first song is rocket fueled with Sabir sticking to tenor and everybody wailing in a free groove. After the first song completes, this audience tape picks up one of the patrons commenting that the band was smoking tonight, true enough as Sabir Mateen breaks out his whole arsenal of reeds and moves Sam Rivers like through saxophones and breathy flute before setting a cauldron of bubbling clarinet underneath Campbell's sputtering trumpet on the second piece. Sabir Mateen is truly the renaissance man of downtown jazz. The band goes back into a lengthy burner to take the concert to a close, powerful stuff indeed.

I've seen saxophonist Eric Person live twice and he never failed to disappoint. So it's something of a mystery why he's never gotten a major label shot. On this concert from DeKalb, IL on Nov. 16, 2005 he's supported by his band Meta Four made up of John Esposito on piano, Adam Armstrong on bass, Peter O'Brien on drums, and Fareed Haque questing on guitar on the final track. They practice a strong brand of Coltrane inspired acoustic jazz. Pianist Esposito is a dead ringer for McCoy Tyner with his heavy approach to comping and fast, fluid soloing. Person switches deftly between tenor and soprano saxophones with aplomb. The band is tight and well rehearsed as only a long time touring group can be. Fans of mid-period Coltrane ('62-'64) would find a lot to enjoy in this band, as they are a good group that deserves more attention.

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