Ballads and Blues: The Brooklyn Session
Criss Cross Jazz
Whitaker has emerged into one of jazz's great young bassists. Ballads and Blues is his dedication to the memories of his inspirations, Paul Chambers and George Duvivier, but the recording also provides a glimpse into his own musical personality, which includes hints of Milt Hinton and others who have preceded him. The quintet also features tenor and soprano saxophonist Ron Blake, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, pianist Eric Reed and drummer Carl Allen. Trombonist Wycliff Gordon stops by to add his unique brand of lyricism on Harry Edison's "Centerpiece" and Charlie Parker's "Big Foot." Much of the material is reinterpretations of familiar songs, but also included is Eric Reed's "Wise Young Man" and Whitaker's "For Rochelle," which he dedicates to his 12-year-old daughter.