Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Keefe Jackson: tenor and baritone saxophones; Tim Haldeman: tenor saxophone; Norman Palm: trombone; Christopher Davis: bass trombone; Russ Johnson: trumpet; Ben LaMarGuy: cornet; Dennis Luxion: piano; Jason Roebke: bass; Marcus Evans: drums.
The ten tunes of Greg Ward’s latest record courageously sought inspiration in Charles Mingus’ 1963 masterpiece “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady”, revealing mature compositional work and striking arrangements. The efficient altoist opens with a notable composition entitled “Daybreak” in which he pulls out a breathtaking improvisation. “Singular Serenade” gives it a final sequence through Luxion’s solo piano. “The Menacing Lean” takes the proportions of a big-band march. An interlude by the reeds anticipates “With All Your Sorrow”, a ballad that avoids stiffness by evolving to a more groovy balance, featuring Palm’s trombone solo. “Grit” and “Round 3” belong to those kinds of enthusiastic shuffles that could be creations of Mingus or Sun Ra. The former composition features Jackson’s penetrating baritone sax while the latter, in a more rocking style, showcases another improvisational rampage, this time by Haldeman on tenor saxophone. Roebke nimbly introduces “Dialogue Of The Black Saint” with the sound of his bass, but it’s Johnson's plunger trumpet solo that takes the lead afterward. "Gather Round, The Revolution Is At Hand", the last and longest tune, exhibits a boisterous collective interaction in order to conclude the evocative album.
01 – Daybreak ► 09 – Dialogue Of The Black Saint ► 10 – Gather Round, The Revolution Is At Hand