Bar code: 8427328420228
4**** by All Music Guide
Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Chris Cheek currently resides in Brooklyn, and has been an active member the New York jazz scene. He is currently a member of Paul Motians electric be bop band, and co-leader of the Bloom Daddies, a band with his fellow saxophonist Seamus Blake. Chris is part of the generation of tenor players that have been influenced by Joe Lovanos dark sound. This CD showcases Cheeks improvisational talents, featuring the amazing guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.
"It has long been said that one can tell a mature jazz musician from an up-and-coming one in the way they handle ballads. Most younger players have a tendency to play too many notes with excessive energy, often filling in all the spaces during the slower tempos. Chris Cheek, who judging by the photo on his CD cover is in his 20s or early 30s, is a major exception.
Teamed up with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, bassist Chris Higgins and drummer Jordi Rossy in a pianoless quartet, Cheek mostly performs the standards-oriented program at slow speeds and he is not shy of letting his notes ring. Often sounding a bit like Stan Getz, Cheek draws out plenty of emotion from such songs as "I Wish I Knew," "Skylark" and "Stairway to the Stars." While guitarist Rosenwinkel (who has a cool tone but a modern style) provides most of the fire on the ballads, Cheek comes across on a medium-tempo "I'll Be Seeing You" with some advanced melodic improvising a la Warne Marsh. He shows the most individuality on his original "Garden Floor" and Bill Evans' "Time Remembered," closing off the date with an achingly emotional yet restrained version of "What'll I Do." This easily recommended CD was released in 1997 as part of the Spanish Fresh Sound label's "New Talent" series."
-Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
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