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

Vincent Herring & Earth Jazz: Morning Star

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.

Shades of the Headhunters, Weather Report, the Crusaders and, not surprisingly, Cannonball Adderley’s electric-jazz releases color the sound of Vincent Herring’s Earth Jazz Agents (here, minus the “Agents”), the gifted alto saxophonist’s working funk and fusion quartet. Yes, it all feels like a bit of a time warp, but the sonic setting hardly keeps the postbopper and his bandmates earthbound. To the contrary: Their work on Morning Star uses ’70s-style fusion and groove-jazz as a launching pad for some oft-intriguing work, built on textures and rhythms that come off as alternately smooth and rough-and that’s a compliment.

Coltrane’s “Naima” is reworked with a steadily churning backbeat, fueled by the snaking rhythms of bassist Richie Goods and drummer Joris Dudli, and Herring’s probing solo. Mulgrew Miller’s laidback funk stroll “Soul Leo,” spiked with slow-mo bass slapping and popping and pianist Anthony Wonsey’s warm electric piano and synthesizer, hints at Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man.” And Rodgers Grant’s title track is a pensive ballad.

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