Cadence Jazz Recordings CJR-1132 (2000)
JOEL PRESS saxophone
GRAY SARGENT guitar
MARSHALL WOOD bass
BOB SAVINE drums
*Marty Ballou bass
NOSTALGIA (Fats Navarro)
IT'S YOU OR NOONE (Styne / Cahn)
FOOLING MYSELF (Lawrence / Tinturin)
JUST YOU, JUST ME (Greer / Klages)
*BLUE SEVEN (Sonny Rollins)
BODY AND SOUL (Green / Heyman)
SOMEBODY LOVES ME (Gershwin / DeSylva)
THAT OLD FEELING (Brown / Fain)
GONE WITH THE WIND (Rubel / Magidson)
SOLID (Sonny Rollins)
The native tongue is always the language spoken most naturally. While one may acquire the grammar and syntax, the vocabulary and even the slang, the ear always recognizes the second language as something learned, something appropriated.
Jazz has, in the past decade or so, undergone a sort of backlash towards traditionalism, a retro preoccupation that has seen the ascendancy of young players who have approximated the style the approach of the jazz masters of the past. While these young players are almost all unquestionably finely technically equipped musicians, the listener is still left with the impression of having heard a studied, and often mannered performance. The work has an italicized quality, easily discernible from its forbears.
Joel Press speaks the language of swing-based, post-World War II jazz in as singular a fashion as any living saxophonist. He has been listening to this music all of his life, and playing it for almost a half century. Before relocating to Boston in the late '70's, he worked extensively in New York with a diverse range of players, which included Ray Nance, Jaki Byard, Sheila Jordan, Major Holley, and Jimmy Garrison. If the listener recognizes the traces of Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims, and Lucky Thompson in Joel's playing, it is because these men were experiencing the same truths at more or less the same time. Even Joel's obvious similarity in tone and approach to late-period Ben Webster is a result of a deep familiarity and empathy with the source. It is a style learned through playing endless sessions with contemporaries, and the shared experiences of people who have lived, seen, and spoken eloquently on what they have observed. His is a sound and an approach to jazz for which there can be no shortcuts. Joel Press knows what to play. He also knows what not to play.
The other players on MAINSTREAM EXTENSIONS have resumes that illustrate their versatility and the high esteem in which they are held by their peers.
Gray Sargent , the guitarist featured within, has been a working member of Tony Bennett's quartet for the past three years. He began his career by playing with Big Joe Turner, and has since worked with, among others, Chet Baker, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Illinois Jacquet, Ruby Braff, Clark Terry, and Dave McKenna. Listen to him here and discover what the best jazz musicians have long known: he is one of the great players in modern jazz.
Marshall Wood is a bassist in the stalwart tradition of Ray Brown. He keeps great, swinging time, has a beautiful tone, and supports the soloists unerringly.
Drummer Bob Savine brings a wonderful combination of propulsion and restraint to the session.
The musicians of MAINSTREAM EXTENSIONS
have kept company and played music together for over
twenty years, and their music reflects this. It is conversational
and colloquial, yet provocative and daring. It is a language spoken
with tremendous authority and with no guesswork. It is music that
can only be played by master musicians communicating with each other
in the voice that each knows best. Charles
contact Joel Press at: (617) 527-5227