Joe_locke_geoffrey_keezer_group-live_in_seattle_span3
November 2006

Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group
Live in Seattle
Origin Records

Constantly flirting with atonality but never surrendering to it, this quartet made a lasting impression at the 2005 Ballard Jazz Festival, where the hip folks at Origin made a live, studio-quality recording. So much is happening at any given moment that careful, repeat listening is required to separate the various strands that combine to create the sheets of sound (or as Locke prefers, “cascade”).

Co-leaders vibist Locke and pianist Keezer are so close in their musical philosophy that when one itches, the other scratches. They comp respectfully behind each other, not that either leaves many gaps. And each knows how to heighten the energy of the other. Regarding group excitement, the quartet is propelled by a kinetic rhythm section: bassist Mike Pope and drummer Terreon Gully.

Plenty of highlights to listen for: the ostinato figure underlying the combo in “Van Gogh by Number,” the hint of “Django” in the last eight bars of “Fractured,” the gossamer integration of piano and vibes on “Miramar,” the propulsive walking by Pope in “The King” and the aggressive presence of Gully throughout the entire session. As for the co-cats, each solo is a highlight, but they shine together, in fourths, during the warp speed “King.”

Originally published in November 2006
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