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Michael Brecker: Time Is of the Essence

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Since Michael Brecker has long been regarded as one of the top two or three descendants of John Coltrane, it was inevitable that he get together with Elvin Jones. The two titans from different generations finally met as Brecker was turning 50 and they play heroically together on a third of the aptly-named Time Is of the Essence, Michael’s first-ever organ quartet outing. Drummers Jeff “Tain” Watts and Bill Stewart lend their considerable talents to the rest of this project, which is further enhanced by the presence of Pat Metheny on guitar and Larry Goldings, who sets the tone for these proceedings on Hammond B-3 organ.

At the B-3, Goldings is coming more out of the Dr. Lonnie Smith-Larry Young school of hip chordal voicings and idiosyncratic punctuations as opposed to the all-out cranking school of The Mighty Burner Charles Earland. He applies smoking left hand bass lines and adventurous comping to his own blazing “Sound Off,” an uptempo romp propelled by Tain’s ever-surging swing factor and interactive muscle on the kit, and he supplies a lush cushion beneath brilliant solos by both Brecker and Metheny on the gorgeous ballad “The Morning of This Night.” Metheny also demonstrates some playful abandon on the loosely swinging “Dr. Slate,” urged on by Tain’s jaunty pulse on the kit.

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