May 23, 2024

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CD review: Charles Tolliver – Connect 2020: Video, CD cover

New York-based trumpeter, composer and educator Charles Tolliver presents Connect, his first studio album in 13 years.

Recorded to tape at RAK Studios last November by Tony Platt (Bob Marley, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Abdullah Ibrahim), the line-up features top musicians from the New York jazz scene who have collectively played with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Nancy Wilson, and Chick Corea. Forming as the Charles Tolliver All Stars, the band includes Jesse Davis on alto saxophone, Keith Brown on piano, Buster Williams on double bass, and Lenny White on drums. The album also bridges together New York and London by featuring leading British saxophonist Binker Golding on two tracks, (Binker & Moses, Moses Boyd Exodus, Zara McFarlane.)

On recording with Gearbox, Charles said: … with both of our collective recording label expertise a recording of my touring band could and would be done. I chose to CONNECT consummate artists whose performances represent absolutely ‘THE’ Real Deal in this Artform – Lenny White, Buster Williams, Jesse Davis, Keith Brown. The excellent artistry of Binker Golding was added for some tracks by Darrel.”

Active since the 1960s, Charles Tolliver has been carrying the torch for jazz through his activities as accomplished trumpeter, educator at The New School, arranger for big band, and founder of the iconic Strata-East label which was responsible for releasing albums by Gil Scott-Heron, Clifford Jordan, Charlie Rouse, and Shirley Scott. As an entirely self-taught musician, he has collaborated with renowned artists such as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, and McCoy Tyner.

He once explained his method of improvisation in a Downbeat magazine interview.

“I like to rumble. I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It’s easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That’s no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump…”

01. Blue Soul (9:38)
02. Emperor March (13:32)
03. Copasetic (6:07)
04. Suspicion (9:59)
05. Charles Tolliver – Blue Soul (Edit) (6:07)

Charles Tolliver, trumpet
Jesse Davis, alto saxophone
Binker Golding, tenor saxophone
Keith Brown, piano
Buster Williams, double bass
Lenny White, drums

Connect | Charles Tolliver

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