Ron Welburn

Ron’s Contributions


May 2001    Albums

Last Minute Gifts
Rob Blakeslee Quartet

Trumpeter Rob Blakeslee leads his Oregon-based band through a series of labyrinthine excursions on Last Minute Gifts. Rooted in freer forms of early '60s jazz, the pianoless quartet-trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Dave Storrs...


May 2001    Albums

Phillip Johnston

Normalology contains unrecorded music sopranoist Phillip Johnston composed in the '80s for the Microscopic Septet. You may recall that band's combination of good musical taste, wit and professionalism, and thus won't be surprised by the same creative enthusiasm...


May 2001    Albums

Impure Thoughts
Michael Wolff

Pianist Michael Wolff's Impure Thoughts explores a Sly Stone/Miles Davis/Joe Zawinul connection. In "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" and "Thank You" Wolff hints briefly at Zawinul's figure, allowing Alex Foster's searing alto solo to dominate on the former, his...


June 2000    Albums

Live at Montreux Detroit
Henry Cook Band with Bobby Ward

A playfully raucous quality distinguishes the serious performances by Henry Cook's sextet, giving it a signature sound and drive that doesn't allow its members to be too self-conscious about their roles. Live at Montreux Detroit follows their successful...

May 2000    Albums

13 Pieces
The Other Quartet

It may profess adherence to no "school," but The Other Quartet's 13 Pieces includes Stravinsky's canon-like "Piece for String 4tet No3" (note their enigmatic identification) and Elliott Carter's "Canon for Three," plus originals across a range of spontaneous...


March 2000    Albums

Burton Greene Trio

On Throptics ESP Disk alumnus Greene stretches into the tongue-in-cheek: his craggy performance of "Mississippi Clarence" has two-fisted humor. "Tilo Akandita Brikama" is for Johnny Dyani; and "Lennie Lives," for Tristano, is a thunderous success. Grassi...


March 2000    Albums

Steve Swell Trio

Lou Grassi performs the collectivist drummer's dynamics and polyrhythms on Atmospheels, exploiting an energy school occasion with trombonist Swell's trio that includes reedist Will Connell, who tends to get stuck in mode arpeggios on "Sound as One," "Atmospheels...


March 2000    Albums

Stalker Songs
Thomas Borgmann Trio/Peter Brotzmann

Bassist Little joins reedist Borgmann, drummer Denis Charles (one of his last recordings), and guest Peter Brotzmann for the two-part Stalker Songs, each part over 30 minutes long. Tenors predominate. Borgmann seems to carry on dialogues with himself in...


March 2000    Albums

Working With the Elements
Glenn Spearman/Dominic Duval

Moderate pacing typifies the Glenn Spearman-Dominic Duvall duets and the trio with Duvall, Joe McPhee and Jay Rosen. Spearman tried gravitating from the Frank Wright power tenor on Working with the Elements, recorded in summer 1998, a few months before his...


March 2000    Albums

The Watermelon Suite
Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/Jay Rosen

Duvall shows on The Watermelon Suite just how big his skills are, executing simultaneous upper and bottom register arco work on the "Suite" and, in general, pacing the music with warmth and intelligence. These are sound murals, finding McPhee more understated...


March 2000    Albums

Yuko Fujiyama String Ensemble

Tag debuts pianist Yuko Fujiyama, accompanied by cellist Tomas Ulrich and violinist Mark Feldman. Several pieces appear at least partly to have been scored and, even with improvising, their work seems on the lyrical side of Ives, Carter and Earle Brown...


December 1999    Albums

Electrifying Miles
Umo Jazz Orchestra

Hands down, UMO is a world class musical aggregation, a tribute to all the locations in the jazz tradition it explores, and a voice with its own flexible orchestral distinction. Thank Heikki Sarmanto's continuing astute guidance that urged on UMO many years...


December 1999    Albums

Expatriate Kin
Kali Z. Fasteau Trio with Noah Howard and Bobby Few

New Jersey-born world traveling musician Zusaan Kali Fasteau has several recordings to her credit. The ten performances on these two CDs display superficial differences, but in texture and soundscape they are very much alike: buoyant and spiritually uplifting...

December 1999    Albums

Kali Z. Fasteau

Camaraderie features two bands: Fasteau and Bobby Few with percussionist Michael Wimberly; Fasteau and Noah Howard with Warren Smith, Joe McPhee, and the under-recorded pianist Sonelius Smith (this music doesn't showcase his talents very well) who generate...


October 1999    Albums

My Shining Hour
Gail Wynters

While the performance road for Gail Wynters extends back to the Sixties, her jazz outings have shared time with pop songs (she's performed on TV's The Palace), country, R&B, and rock, but not many recordings. She's a singer for the long haul in a business...


May 1999    Albums

Sam Yahel

Is it the later generations that've been calling the organ combo "acid jazz"? Yahel leads a trio with guitar and drums, with tenor and trumpet on four selections, through what I'd still call the Blue Note organ combo sound. And the program, wisely chosen...

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About Ron Welburn