Buell Neidlinger

Big Drum

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Veteran bassist Buell Neidlinger teams up with three other topnotch players (tenor-saxophonist Marty Krystall, trumpeter Hugh Schick and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta) for a set of colorful, explorative and generally swinging music. The quartet performs songs either written by Neidlinger or ones he co-wrote with Krystall; the only exception is a reworking of Thelonious Monk's "Brilliant Corners." Neidlinger dedicated the set to Herbie Nichols (who he talks about in the liner notes) and in some ways this recording is a predecessor to the bassist's brilliant Nichols tribute set Blue Chopsticks. Whether it be "Big Drum," "Ming's Visit" (a bit reminiscent of Charles Mingus"), a remake of "O.P." (which Neidlinger had recorded with Cecil Taylor in 1960) or "Tienanmen Bop," this is a satisfying and consistently exciting set of advanced music.