HERLIN RILEY – NEW DIRECTION ★★★

HerlinMack Avenue

Herlin Riley (d, v), Bruce Harris (t), Goodwin Louis (as, ss), Emmett Cohen (p), Mark Whitfield (g), Russell Hall (b) and Pedrito Martinez (congas). Rec. date not stated

New Orleanian Riley is one of today’s premier jazz drummers. Aside from observing him at work over the years with Wynton Marsalis, it’s been a joy to see him fronting his hard-swinging quartets either in New Orleans or at Ascona with the late Tim Green or Victor Goines playing saxophone. So a new album under his name is to be welcomed, surely? Not so this time, for this is Riley looking for a softer landing, all 10 compositions written by him, slight affairs, their character and interest strictly limited for this listener, at least. The players are all young bar Harris, with veteran Whitfield confined to a single track. Admittedly Harris has fiery chops and he and the Haitian Louis do get to flourish on Riley’s ‘Connection to Congo Square’ complete with fade and Cohen can certainly play. Otherwise this album might best be filed under ’jazz-lite’. Much is made in the notes of Riley’s ‘new direction’ and he does feature himself rather more than was customary with Marsalis with mallet and snare excursions, yet manages to eschew swing, only ‘Harlem Shuffle’ giving a glimpse of real jazz quality. Look elsewhere for Riley at his best. Peter Vacher

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@WesTirey especially when it is in your house
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@AbstractTruth I can see that, too
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA