Victor Lewis is not only one of the most important drummers to arrive on the scene during the post-bop era, but he is also a phenomenal composer. On this series of trio recordings, with bassist Ed Howard and the addition of Terell Stafford, Steve Wilson or Seamus Blake, Lewis explores ten of his challenging originals. Blake, heard on tenor sax, easily negotiates the demanding twists within "Complex Dialog" while offering a percolating solo in the driving "He's More Good Than Bad." Stafford, like Lewis a veteran of Bobby Watson's Horizon, is superb on flugelhorn in the somewhat Caribbean-flavored "The Cloisters," switching to muted trumpet for the frenzied "Shaw of Newark" (in all likelihood a tribute to the late Woody Shaw, who was raised in the city), which features some of Lewis' most intriguing percussion on the session. The mood turns somewhat ominous in the intense piece "The Roamer," highlighted by Wilson's plaintive soprano sax. Wilson is heard on alto sax in the more upbeat "Another Angel." The only quartet number is "With Dignity," featuring both Blake and Stafford in a work reminiscent of Lewis' many contribution to the repertoire of Bobby Watson & Horizon. Throughout the date Lewis demonstrates why he was one of the most in-demand drummers of his era. This provocative CD will be of considerable interest to fans of Victor Lewis.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden