Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Joe Locke and 4 Walls of Freedom: Dear Life

Jazz reviewers receive complimentary CDs so they can determine whether you should pay to hear them. It’s a charmed life. But Joe Locke & 4 Walls of Freedom’s new album, Dear Life, creates a problem for a conscientious critic: It’s good if it’s free, but you might not want to run out and buy it.

Vibraphonist Locke, who also composed six of the album’s nine tracks, leads a quartet consisting of saxophonist Tommy Smith, bassist Ed Howard and drummer Gary Novak; they communicate well and display impressive chops throughout. Josh Heineman drops in to add a dash of programming to Ron Carter’s “Cut and Paste,” and the additional colors enhance the quartet’s imaginative take on the tune. Locke shows off his exquisite tonal control on Renee Rosnes’ “Manhattan Rain,” and the album closes with the quirky “Malonius” and the gorgeous, make-out-session-worthy “Verrazano Moon.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published