|The new CD, A Lot Of Love, Live! by Reggie Washington is jazz therapy for your soul. A hard-bop foundation with a funk groove that flows smoothly from start to finish. The recording is comprised of two trios recorded live under the leadership of Mr. Washington. The first trio we hear on the CD is made up of Ravi Coltrane, tenor saxophone, and Gene Lake, drums, recorded in 2006 at the Sounds Jazz Club in Europe. The second trio is from a recording done in 2005 at a club in Brussels with Erwin Vann, tenor saxophone, and Stephane Galland, drums. There is also a bonus track, Fannys Toy by Reubens Bass Choir with Mr. Washington playing all bass and drum samples.
A Reggie Washington composition, a song called Reubens 2 Train, makes for a great opening track. The song features some wonderful tenor playing by Ravi Coltrane. There are no direct quotes from Ravis father, John Coltrane, but there is a similarity to the style of playing that is no doubt intentional. The song opens with a slow tempo, a pulsating bass line that allows Ravi Coltrane to flow smoothly into a beautiful saxophone modal melody. Washington maintains a solid bass rhythm allowing drummer Gene Lake to explore the metre in a free wheeling display of polyrhythmic accentuation.
The album has five Reggie Washington compositions as well as a Marcus Miller composition, Mr. Pastorius, performed by the trio of Washington, Vann and Galland. A tribute to the master bassist Jaco Pastorius, you would expect no less than for Mr. Washington to shine with some incredible-sounding electric bass playing. The song has a melancholy melody throughout, provided by some hauntingly beautiful saxophone by Erwin Vann and a funeral procession marching beat by Mr. Galland. The trio provides a standout performance on this tune.
There is a composition by Bill Frisell Strange Meeting, a peaceful, therapeutic composition by Erwin Vann This One, very tastefully done, utilizing a doubling effect on the saxophone, and a Wayne Shorter composition, Fall, performed by the trio of Washington, Coltrane and Lake. This one has an adagio feel with players doubling up on their time to lay down some truly inspirational fills.
The song Requiem Pour Un Con composed by S. Gainsbourg and M. Colombier is a highlight tune. An excellent drum intro by Stephane Galland sounding like a percussion section of at least three is followed by a catchy funk beat that starts out basic and builds in spirit, energy and complexity, drawing the listener into the groove and going out on an intricate bass line to a dynamic slide.
A Lot Of Love, Live! by Reggie Washington has it all, fine musicianship, an excellent quality sound recording and an overall quality production. Reggie Washington manages to convey a feeling of love, respect and a tremendous capacity for the complete process of musical creation.
report by Paul J. Youngman KJA Jazz Advocate Sept. '06