Sunday, June 17, 2018

Black Art Jazz Collective - Armor of Pride (HIGHNOTE RECORDS 2018)

The Black Art Jazz Collective's mission statement celebrates African-American cultural and political icons. At the core is a modernism that conjures up the classic bands of Art Blakey and acoustic Miles Davis. But with the contemporary soul-fuelled solos and locked-in rhythm the band is more likely to launch into a counterpoint riff or the spacious funk of hip-hop than the svelte lines of a classic walking bass. The Black Art Jazz Collective delivers strong original tunes and purposeful, form-hugging improvisation that keeps things looking forward rather than back. And with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on ebullient form, and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery's muscularity contrasting with the tenderness of James Burton III's trombone, the focus never becomes diffuse or wavers.

Miller Time
Armor of Pride
Awuraa Amma
The Spin Doctor
And There She Was Lovely as Ever
When Will We Learn
Black Art

Wayne Escoffery, tenor saxophone
Jeremy Pelt, trumpet
James Burton III, trombone
Xavier Davis, piano
Vicente Archer, bass
Johnathan Blake, drums