December 2003

The Other Shore
Boxholder Records

Trumpeter Roy Campbell first surfaced in saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc's Ensemble Muntu in the late '70s but took nearly two decades to start receiving his due. His robust sound and keen improvisational abilities are all over Exuberance's debut The Other Shore (Boxholder). A co-op quartet rounded out by tenor saxophonist Louie Belogenis, bass player Hill Greene and percussionist Michael Wimberly, Exuberance's collective improvisations alternately convey a deep solemnity and an athletic physicality. It doesn't take long to surmise Exuberance will take the music anywhere at any moment; that's particularly the case on lengthy tracks like "Walking in Loisaida," where a brightly swinging blowing section plummets into a mournful dirge. Yet whatever direction the band is going at any given moment, there is an engrossing banter between all four of these evenly matched musicians. Exuberance may not be the most exact name for this ensemble-Urgency would arguably be better-but it's close enough for free jazz.

Originally published in December 2003
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