Roots_span3
January/February 2006

Various Artists
Roots: Salute to the Saxophone/The Gadd Gang (Double Time Jazz Collection, Vol. 5)

The first half of the DVD features a two-hour 1992 live program with saxophonists Chico Freeman, Sam Rivers, Arthur Blythe and Nathan Davis, with pianist Don Pullen, bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Idris Muhammad. Davis, a respected educator whose playing should be better known, shines, especially on soprano. He's the most bop-oriented. Blythe's "Parker's Mood" showcases his soaring tone, while his distinctive lines are not Bird-like. Any document of Pullen's consummate professionalism is worth having.

The second hour is drummer Steve Gadd's band doing covers of classic hits such as "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and "My Girl." Guitarist Cornell Dupree is the most heavily featured, and baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber is outstanding as always, but in an R&B mode--no boppish lines here. Richard Tee plays keyboards and Eddie Gomez bass (with a strong solo on "Changes"). The booklet says it was made in 1998 but it says "(c)1988" on screen. Advertised bonus text features (bios, etc.) were nowhere to be found.

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