It is not surprising that saxophonist Dale Fielder would chose The Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Quintet of 1958-1961 as his new recording project. No serious baritone saxophonist would want to leave that box unchecked. The Byrd/Adams Quintet was one of the great unsung groups in jazz history. Over shadowed by a golden age of great jazz groups, they were a favorite of musicians and fans alike during their tenure. What made the band so unique was the perfect blend of Byrd and Adams’ trumpet and baritone sax and the fact that they were first class soloists. Also a factor in the band’s success was the magnificent compositions and arrangements of one of jazz’s most gifted writers, Duke Pearson. During the band’s last year together, they introduced to the world an equally strong third soloist who also composed for the band, one Herbie Hancock, whom Byrd and Adams discovered in Chicago and brought back to New York.
Each Time I Think of You is Fielder’s 14th recording and is sort of a follow-up to his 2007 release, Plays the Music of Pepper Adams. Here, Fielder introduces his Tribute Quintet, formed for an on-going project to perform and record the music of some of jazz’s greatest but under-appreciated artists. Back with Fielder is his long-time associate, pianist Jane Getz whose very presence personifies being one of jazz’s great yet under-appreciated artists. Getz began her career playing and recording with Charlie Mingus and went on to work with a who’s who’s list of jazz greats that includes Stan Getz, Elvin Jones, Joe Henderson, Roland Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, Herbie Mann, Charles Lloyd and Pharoah Sanders with whom she recorded on his very first LP. After returning to LA, she became one of Hollywood’s top producers working with Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson and the Bee Gees among others. Since 1995, she keeps her jazz chops sharp by joining forces with Fielder with whom she has performed and recorded continually. Also back is bassist Trevor Ware, who started his career with Horace Tapscott and Sonny Fortune and is currently, playing with every important jazz artist that comes through Los Angeles. New on board is percussionist Don Littleton, who started his career with Cannonball Adderley, Freddie Hubbard and Roberta Flack. Besides being an excellent drummer he is perhaps more well known as a first call, master congero. Also newly on board is trumpeter Nolan Shaheed, who started his career with Marvin Gaye and Natalie Cole and has continued on to become one of LA’s first call trumpeters, playing and recording with Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, Teddy Edwards and Eddie Harris.
The music included in this fine recording consists of the very best that the Byrd/Adams Quintet recorded. The DFTQ breathes fresh air into these timeless classics. They play with a lot of passion and swing like crazy. In fact, their versions might actually rival the original ones; certainly the opener, “Out Of This World” seems much more assessable than the original. Other standouts are “Jeannine” and the title cuts, both the master and alternate take. This is a band that blends well and always sounds exciting and fresh. It gives testimony to the fact that good music is timeless and always relevant.
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