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Peter Erskine/Richard Torres: From Kenton to Now

Drummer Erskine, tenor saxophonist Torres, and pianist Alan Pasqua crossed paths in the Stan Kenton band of 1972. (Pasqua was subbing for an ailing Kenton.) This reunion, with Dave Carpenter on bass, is a highly charged blowing session.

Torres is hot throughout the date, with a robust sound, soulful inflections, a straight ahead sense of rhythm, and pliant, supple lines. Pasqua, who performed with Tony Williams’ New Lifetime in the early ’70s, demonstrates a climactic style of solo-building. Carpenter is perfectly at home in this strong company.

Erskine’s crisp articulation, commanding sense of time, and clean fills and solos put a synergistic touch on the performances. Torres’ “Blues for All,” a take-off on Miles Davis’ “All Blues,” contains his best solo-shades of the late Shelly Manne tap-dancing over a march beat.

Torres composed six originals for the date. There are also tunes associated with Kenton: the late bandleader’s “Artistry in Rhythm” and Ray Wetzel’s “Intermission Riff.”

Originally Published