Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Michael Brothers Quartet "Reunion"

As the title suggests, life's road led these players in different directions after working as a quartet twenty-some years ago in New Orleans. Of particular interest is the presence of Portland area tenor sax and clarinet mogul David Evans. His tone is somewhere out of Getz and Zoot---ultimately Lester---beautiful, swinging, lyrical and just about as perfect as you're going to encounter anywhere these days. Just pick up on his center-of-the-highway take on the opener, Billy Strayhorn's "Upper Manhattan Medical Group". Interesting to note that another Strayhorn classic "Isfahan" closes the album. In between, Evans and his Big Easy colleagues explore works by Woody Shaw, two Herbie Hancock gems, and one standard, "Nature Boy". A highlight for me was Jimmy Rowles' plaintive beauty "The Peacocks". It features Evans on clarinet and it's like fine crystal. Other quartet members are Matt Lemmler, piano; Tim Aucoin, bass; and the leader, Michael Brothers, drums. The four of them were reunited a couple of years ago and this stately, often beautiful session was the result. One can only hope that there are more reunions scheduled in the future.
Girod Records; 2016; appx. 62 min.

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