March 1997

Billy Drummond
Dubai
Criss Cross Jazz

Drummond's third release as a leader finds the drummer in a unique quartet date with no piano, working with the two tenors of Chris Potter and Walt Weiskopf, and bassist Peter Washington. It's a format that Drummond felt would give this talent all the space it needed to stretch out, and with Potter and Weiskopf doing the blowing, the result is rich indeed.

Young lion Potter seems to relish this format, soaring with his tenor while Weiskopf, too, digs in with enthusiasm to deliver every nuance that he can conjure. Potter also adds additional texture with the bass clarinet on Weiskopf's "Invisible Sun," and there's a gorgeous reading by the tenorists on Pat Metheny's "The Bat," with Drummond adding seasoning with cymbals alone.

Without piano, Drummond remarks that he "likes the freedom of comping in another way." When there is no chordal instrument, one can really make use of the tones and colors of the drum set to lead the band rhythmically and with sound."

This is a solid work that underscores why Drummond is one of the most in-demand players in the business.

Originally published in March 1997
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