Abraham Burton / Eric McPherson

Cause & Effect

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Intensity, pride, and passion are the earmarks for the modern mainstream jazz quartet co-led by tenor saxophnist Burton and drummer McPherson. They display a fervor that is consistently buoyed by the insistent pianistics of James Hurt, while bassist Yosuke Inoue stokes the fire with bituminous strokes of swing and steadying brute force. Each of these six compositions allow each member to stretch out and dig in, and they have a definite center from which to draw upon. Many will be reminded of the classic John Coltrane quartet from their Impulse recordings: slightly on the edge, forever moving forward. "Nebulai" is set up by a probing ostinato bass sets, Hurt's roaring piano, and Burton's bridge workout, which reflects Coltrane's energy, but sports Burton's voice. In 6/8, the title track over is 16 minutes and uses a repeated modal piano line and a bowed bass solo, churning tick-tock drumming, and a four note bassline, setting up extended tenor and piano excursions, and a hard bop second half where Burton and Hurt bubble over. That same crescendoing capsized boil also crops up on the lithe Afro-Cuban danza "Punta Lullaby." There's also a spirit ballad for "Dad," with Burton far from tame or languid, a hip, modern bossa "Forbidden Fruit" in beats of seven, and the most consistently hard swinger "The Last Laugh." If concentrated doses of highly motivated, nitro fueled expressiveness appeals to you, this album and band should more than adequately fill the bill, as Burton, McPherson, and Hurt emerge as individualists and powerful purveyors of this thoroughly modern milleu.

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