Wayne Escoffery and Veneration – Hopes and Dreams (2008)

Wayne Escoffery and Veneration - Hopes and Dreams (2008)
Artist: Wayne Escoffery and Veneration
Album: Hopes and Dreams
Genre: Post-Bop, Mainstream Jazz
Released: 2008
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
1. Hopes and Dreams (Escoffery) 8:02
2. Liason (Harrell) 8:51
3. Noon Night (Mingus) 7:02
4. Love Walked In (Gershwin, Gershwin) 6:28
5. Chronic Blues (Coltrane) 8:05
6. Dedication to Wanda (Barron) 5:15
7. The Sake of It (Escoffery) 6:07
8. The Face I Love (Gilbert, Pingarilho, Valle) 8:33

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Wayne Escoffery has been one of the most impressive tenor saxophonists of his generation, not only developing a personal sound but also demonstrating prowess as a compelling composer/arranger. With his Veneration quartet, which includes vibraphonist Joe Locke, bassist Hans Glawisching, and drummer Lewis Nash (with Jonathan Blake subbing on drums for three tracks), Escoffery opens with his infectious “Hopes and Dreams,” with his passionate tenor backed by Locke, who plays both vibes and marimba and solos on the latter instrument. His lush solo in Charles Mingus’ “Noon Night” (an excerpt from his magnum opus Epitaph) would have likely pleased its demanding composer. Trumpeter/flügelhornist Tom Harrell, with whom Escoffery has worked as a sideman, is added on three tracks. Harrell’s hip “Liason” swings in a light groove, while John Coltrane’s infrequently performed “Chronic Blues” is a lively workout for the band, which offers a haunting arrangement of the late Bill Barron’s “Dedicated to Wanda,” yet another song deserving of wider attention. The Brazilian composition “The Face I Love” was recorded live at Smoke during the making of Escoffery’s earlier Savant CD Veneration, but was omitted because of time constraints; it provides a fitting conclusion to this outstanding release.
Review by Ken Dryden

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