The Jazz Review review by Glenn Astarita

Alvin Fielder Trio – A Measure of Vision (CF 071)

A co-founder of the AACM – the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, drummer Alvin Fielder has aligned with the crème de la crème of progressive jazz: A list too numerous in scope to cite here.  And it’s a bit hard to believe that this outing signifies the drummer’s inaugural solo release.  Yet, it’s never too late as they say.  Here, the drummer leads a trio that transforms into a quartet and quintet on selected pieces. 

Trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez has been on a spiraling upsurge via some irrefutably important recordings for this Portugal-based record label.  With a tone to die for, the artist has fashioned a signature style sound and scope of attack.  On this endeavor he summons the talents of his sons’ Aaron (bass) and Stefan (drums and vibes) — performing on various works while extending the trio format.

The band pursues staggered free-bop vamps with variable flows as Fielder serves as a colorist and accelerator.  More importantly, they fabricate a sense of continuity throughout, although no two works are distinctly alike.  On the piece titled “Camel,” Gonzalez’ big sound and ominous phrasings emit a counterbalancing effect, where he solos within an endearing melody medium-tempo swing pulse.  In other regions of this superfine outing, the band pursues an abundance of contrasting tones and sound-shaping exercises while using space as a vantage point. And they delve into the free-zone while occasionally bursting into modern-mainstream type dialogues. 

Gonzalez’ popping notes during “Ripe for Vision,” ride atop the buoyant horizontal plane set forth by his son Stefan’s rhythmic vibes work, to coincide with the group’s crash and burn gait.  Then on “Time No Time,” pianist Chris Parker and Fielder pursue a bustling free-bop groove with the trumpeter’s poignant lines and focused; no looking back, mode of attack. A top-10 pick for 2007, it is…

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