|GETTY Images/Jack Vartoogian|
This album has such fascinating sound choices. In the midst of the rocking "Prospero", Lage's ripping guitar lines share the melody with the vibraphone. Sounds like a marimba on the opening of the appropriately-named "Stop Go Start" which brings to mind the exotica of Martin Denny as interpreted by Kip Hanrahan. Colley's rich bass lines take the lead melody on "Presley" before Lage enters and the piece takes off on the power of the guitar solo over Wollesen's charging drum work.
If you enjoy the guitar work of Mr. Frisell, Brad Shepik, John Scofield, and Jeff Parker (among others), "Arclight" is for you. While Julian Lage does not sound like any of those guitarists, his rapport with Scott Colley and Kenny Wollesen will remind you of other guitar trios, ones in which all members have equal say in the presentation.And, it's great fun. For more information, go to www.julianlage.com.
Here's the rollicking "Harlem Blues":
Tallitsch provides his band with a number of strong vehicles, not only for his rich, blues-drenched, sax but also making sure to give everyone a chance to shine. Listen to how Brendler and Royston drive "Refuge", their acceleration pulling the sax and pain with them. As is his won't, the leader does not overplay. He tends to caress melodies instead of roaring through. The group's take on John Lennon's "Because" starts slowly and sweetly, building during the saxophone solo and hitting its stride during Davis's strong solo. The bass counterpoint is also quite nice. Charrette shows up on the other 2 "covers", "Gold Dust Woman" (by Stevie Nicks) and "Thank You", one of the few slow tunes on "Led Zeppelin II" (composed by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page). The folky quality of the original version can be felt on the latter track; with the addition of the organ, one hears the influence of The Band. The tenor solo near the close of the tune hews closely to the melody and one can hear the gratitude from the lyrics.
The soulful sounds of the title track serve as a good reminder that the best music is about melody, rhythm, intelligent interplay, and emotion. Jon Davis's splendid solo on "Gratitude" has so much soul as does the excellent bass work of Peter Brendler; when Tom Tallitsch enters, he plays with such ecstasy goosed on by the impeccable playing of Rudy Royston. This music sounds so good - engineer Nick O'Toole has such a knack for capturing rhythm sections while not ignoring the front line - and it feels quite good as well. With "Gratitude", Tom Tallitsch has, arguably, created the best recording of his career. Keep them coming!
For more information, go to www.tomtallitsch.com or www.posi-tone.com/gratitude/gratitude.html.
Have a listen to the Stevie Nicks tune: