George Coleman Jr. was seven when Jazz innovator and master drummer Max Roach gave him his first set of drums. The background music of his childhood was set to the harmonic sophistication of his father, George (“Big George”) Coleman’s saxophone and the classic blues of his mother Gloria’s bass, piano, organ and vocal work. The dedication and creativity of his parents set the standard for “little” George’s early musical efforts, culminating in his acceptance into New York’s prestigious High School of Music and Art.
Resurgence is, apparently, creating a buzz amongst established musicians and fans of multiple genres. Veteran producer Michael Carvin highlights the band’s bluesy and sophisticated melodic sounds, while paying homage to organ groups of the past with a fresh and modern edge. Renowned journeyman musician Richie Morales called it “beautiful”. While musical prodigy and McArthur Genius Grant award winner Tyshawn Sorey called it “brilliant work that takes care of the listener.”‘Resurgence’ EPK
So that is what the press release pack says: an accurate reflection or hyperbole? The first thing to say is that there is little wrong with this album musically. There are moments of beauty, Cuban rhythms, blues, and great organ work from Brian Charette but it is all a little too safe, a little too respectful of the jazz tradition. It is also, at eighty minutes, too long – a CD is capable of holding eighty minutes of music but that does not mean that it must, and in this day and age should a CD’s capacity really be a deciding factor?
The musicianship on display across this album is very good and does indeed “take care of the listener”. I have already mentioned Brian Charette on the organ but I also need to highlight the playing of guitarist Paul Bollenback, who I think gets to play some of the best lines on the album. Coleman Jr. is a more than competent drummer but I do not feel that he was stretched at any point across the fourteen tracks recorded. This is a good good jazz album with some nice rhythms and good melodies that will go down well with those jazz listeners who do not like to be pushed too far out of their comfort zone.
Resurgence is available to download from Bandcamp now.
Musicians: George Coleman Jr. – drums; Brian Charette – organ; Michael DiRubbo – alto saxophonist; Paul Bollenback – guitar; Daniel Sadownick – percussion; Richard Livingston Huntley – percussion; George Coleman Sr. – tenor sax.
Tracklist: 1. The Call. 2. Rakin’ and Scrapin’. 3. All That Is. 4. Willow Weep For Me. 5. Choppy. 6. Little Green Men. 7. Mabe. 8. Hittin’ Myths. 9. Blues Inside Out. 10. Manteca. 11. The Scorpion. 12. Amsterdam After Dark. 13. George’s Drum Chant. 14. Lilt.