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

Cecil Brooks III : Live at Sweet Basil

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

A few measures into “Bounce,” the opening tune on Live at Sweet Basil, and it becomes obvious that Cecil Brooks III digs Art Blakey. The writing (the tune is a Brooks original), the drumming, the dynamics and the leadership all reflect the Jazz Messengers. Here and throughout the CD, the performances swing, the music’s uplifting, the cats are playing their hearts out and there’s a whole lot of listening going on. Joie de vivre without pontification.

Brooks has veteran John Hicks in the piano chair-definitely a rhythmic asset of great measure-and Dwayne Dolphin on bass. Up front, it’s Riley Mullins on trumpet and Don Braden on tenor saxophone. Mullins burns on “Bounce,” busy and agile in the mode of Clifford Brown and Booker Little. Hicks drives hard, and Braden exhibits considerable emotional energy leading into Brooks’ loose, parading drum solo.

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.