Taylor Haskins

Metaview

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Independent European jazz labels are not only valuable because of all the European improvisers they have documented, but also because of the many American jazz musicians they have recorded. In the 2000s, American trumpeter Taylor Haskins did some catalog building when the Barcelona, Spain-based Fresh Sound label released his albums Wake Up Call and Metaview. Despite some mildly funky moments and the use of electric keyboards at times (Haskins plays keyboards and percussion as secondary instruments), the fairly diverse Metaview (a late 2004 recording) is essentially post-bop rather than fusion. Haskins (who wrote all of the material himself) is at his funkiest on "Call Me Tomorrow" and "Itty Bitty Ditty" -- not funky in the down-home, grits-and-gravy way that the Crusaders, Grover Washington, Jr., Ronnie Laws, and Charles Earland were funky in the '70s, but funky in a more cerebral and angular way. Other times, however, Metaview is reflective and contemplative rather than funky -- and the word reflective easily describes Haskins' lyrical performances on "Moodring," "Biorhythm" (which wouldn't be out of place on a Tom Harrell album), "Interbeing," "Zuma," and "Cranes." Although Haskins' trumpet playing (which can be anything from abstract to mellifluous, depending on the mood he is in) is the disc's main attraction, his accompaniment should not go unmentioned. Metaview finds Haskins forming a cohesive quintet with tenor/soprano saxman Andrew Rathbun, guitarist Adam Rogers, double bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Mark Ferber, and the East Coast trumpeter enjoys a strong rapport with all of those players on this noteworthy CD.

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