VINTAGE PULSES AND SOUNDS…Chris Rogers: Voyage Home, Mark Lewis: The New York Sessions

Nothing fancy, atonal, cacophonous or shrilling. Just good sounds laid down with class, style and modern swing. What else do you want?

Trumpeter Chris Rogers leads a hip post bop team of Ted Nash/as-ts, Steve Khan/g, Xavier Davis/p, Jay Anderson/b and Steve Johns/dr for seven rich originals, and for a bonus, two songs with the late Michael Brecker in one of his last sessions. The departed tenor giant sounds wonderful on the loose pulse provided by Anderson on ”Counter Change” while the team comes across as a muscular Messengers with snappy drums and exciting piano on “ Whit’s End.” Nash is Coltranesque with a sighing front line along with Davis’ elegant intro on “Voyage Home” and assertive guests Barry Rogers/tb, Roger Rosenberg/bs and Art Baron/tb create some sparks on the soft “Ballad for B.R.” Rogers himself sounds excellent on a muted horn for the latin “Rebecca” and bops with nimble wit along with Johns’ brushes on “Six Degrees.” Khan gets some fragrant soloing for the pulsating “Ever After” and the team delivers noir-ish harmonies as the horns swagger on “The Mask.” Muscular and musical.

Mark Lewis delivers his alto with a rich and velvety tone for 10 of these 11 songs, and lets his flute create Eastern mystic moods on the opening track of this impressive session with all stars Victor Lewis/dr, George Cables/p and Essiet Essiet/b. The leader has the heart of a bopper, as he dances over the crispy drums on “Child’s Play” bounces on “Up to It” and bossas with the team on “The Lydian Express.” Lewis’ mallets create exotic environments for the leaders’ fluffy and sensuous reed on “Sierra Leon” and Cables is as impressionistic as Monet on”Not as Beautiful as You.” They slide on the scale for a gorgeous and sleek “DL Blues” while performing with elegance and sweat on “Summer is Over.” Take two of these everyday for whatever ails ya.

Leave a Reply