A great run of work from legendary drummer Ed Blackwell – pulled together from his creative projects for the Black Saint/
Soul Note label! The set features two albums from the Old & New Dreams group – Old & New Dreams and Tribute To Blackwell – both of them great! Like Blackwell, the other members of the group all were once associates of Ornette Coleman – an all-star combo that features work from Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, Dewey Redman on tenor, Charlie Haden on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums! The sound is quite Ornette-inspired at times – with a definite late 70s harmelodic groove – but given the organic, acoustic nature of the lineup, the sound is almost more faithful to Coleman's vision than Ornette's records of the time. The album also features a compelling trio date – Transit – with Karl Berger on vibes, Dave Holland on bass, and Blackwell on drums. In Willisau features wonderfully soulful duets – with Dewey Redman on tenor next to Blackwell's drums – and the Walls/
Bridges album features a trio with Redman, Blackwell, and Cameron Brown on bass. The set also features Morning Song – recorded under the leadership of David Murray – one of Murray's straighter sides from the early 80s, and exactly the kind of record to prove to the world that he could be a strong tenor traditionalist while still bringing an inventive sound to play! Murray's tone is deep and soulful, and often quite lyrical – set nicely in a quartet that features warm piano from John Hicks, bass from Reggie Workman, and drums from Ed Blackwell. The Workman/
Blackwell component ensure that things still have an edge at times, even when swinging – and the tunes are a mix of Murray originals and a few standards. Last up is the album From Bad To Badder – played by The American Jazz Quintet – a group with Blackwell on drums, plus Alvin Batiste, Harold Battiste, Ellis Marsalis, and Richard Payne – as well as a guest appearance from New Orleans legend Earl Turbington! 7 albums, 8 CDs, and a heck of a lot of music!