End of the Tunnel
Had to check the calendar eight bars into the greasy boogaloo opener, Herbie Hancock’s “Blind Man, Blind Man,” because it sounded like another night at Small’s Paradise circa 1963. The same authentic feel prevails on Jared Gold’s soulful, Horace Silver-inspired “Preachin’” and his jaunty shuffle-blues “Splat.” Bandleader David Gibson has been courting this funky old-school muse for a while now with his working quartet featuring superb B3 maven Gold, alto saxophonist Julius Tolentino and drummer Quincy Davis. Hard-hitting goodfoot numbers like “Wasabi” bear the unmistakable stamp of Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker, while the churchified “Sunday Morning” recalls the Wayne Henderson-Wilton Felder connection of the early Jazz Crusaders. A boisterous romp through the bop-fueled title track directly connects Gibson to trombone elders J.J. Johnson, Slide Hampton and Curtis Fuller.