Myron Walden

This Way

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Myron Walden is what you could call an obscure jazz musician; and since most jazz musicians are fundamentally obscure (when viewed within the context of popular music), then that makes Walden almost an unknown. This is a shame. In an age where Billboard artists lament the fact that the current consumer market has made gold sales the new platinum, an artist like Walden is fortunate to sale five percent of that. Even jazz heads sleep on him, despite a string of more than solid work as a leader and sideman for the past ten years. What people are missing is a young alto player who writes and solos without pretense. This Way is Walden's fourth album. It's a mean, dead serious, eight-tune set, totally void of any preening or jazz clich├ęs. This album is what you get when a group of young talents put their game faces on, start the proverbial reel and get busy. Walden even told the piano player to stay home, leaving him, Jimmy Greene's beefy-toned tenor, Vicente Archer thumping heavy on yet another album, and E.J. Strickland flying on drums. Walden also didn't feel it necessary to throw in an obligatory ballad. The album's lone slow number ("Too Far to Turn Back") slowly marches and lurks like the soundtrack for a fleet of soldiers approaching battle. The rest of This Way takes turns getting slick ("Right Here"), nasty ("What Goes Up Must Come Down"), and hard-swinging ("Like I See It"). At all times it is unyielding, brash and really good.

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