Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cedar Walton - 1975 - Mobius

Cedar Walton 

01. Blue Trane
02. Soho
03. Off Minor
04. The Maestro
05. Road Island Red

Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Charles Davis
Arranged By, Keyboards, Synthesizer – Cedar Walton
Bass – Gordon Edwards
Drums – Steve Gadd
Engineer – Bob Simpson
Guitar – Ryo Kawasaki
Percussion – Omar Clay, Ray Mantilla
Tenor Saxophone, Soloist – Frank Foster
Trombone – Wayne Andre
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Roy Burrowes
Vocals – Adrienne Albert, Lani Groves

Born in 1934, Cedar Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas before moving to New York. He became a giant in the jazz world through his explosive style on an array of keyboard instruments.
He played on a recording of John Coltrane's classic 'Giant Steps', opening his account at RCA Records with a rendition of 'Blue Trane' (Blue Train), his two mid 70s albums for the label 'Mobius' and 'Beyond Mobius' appearing here on CD for the first time.
As Cedar journeyed through the decades his love of jazz and virtuosity on all variety of keyboards kept him on the forefront of change, the time of these albums being the heyday of the jazz fusion era. It was the work he did here that brought the funk to his music through an ensemble of musicians calling themselves Mobius, going to infinity and beyond having also recorded at Muse then after RCA making two albums for Columbia.

An unusual electric album from the 70s – quite a surprise, given the mostly-acoustic sound of most of Cedar's other records! The album's a killer, though – and has this fresh, full take on funky jazz for the time – not the usual CTI copycat mode, and instead this compelling hybrid of elements that includes lots of Fender Rhodes from Walton, sweet guitar likes from Ryo Kawasaki, and lots of rootsy percussion from Ray Mantilla and Omar Clay – two players who really make the album nice and earthy at the bottom. The rest of the group is wonderful, too – and includes tenor from Frank Foster, alto and baritone from Charles Davis, and trumpet from Roy Burrowes – all fresh players who open up a big can of soul for the set – on titles that include a classic break version of "Off Minor", plus "Blue Trane", "Soho", and "Road Island Red".



  2. Jesus, that second paragraph - you can smell those odious Dusty Groove write-ups from a mile away.