Myron Walden (as), Jimmy Greene (ts), Vicente Archer (b), E.J. Strickland (d)
Bar code: 8427328422161
This is Myron Walden's second recording as leader for Fresh Sound New Talent, which features his regular contributors Jimmy Greene on tenor saxophone, Vicente Archer on bass and E.J. Strickland on drums in what will prove to be a new height in Myron's career as a unique voice in jazz and an astonishing alto saxophonist.
Myron Walden is not only a seasoned saxophonist but also well established as a composer and an arranger. Born on October 18, 1973 in Miami, Florida. He moved to Harlem, New York in 1986. At the age of 14, he was inspired by the sound of Charlie Parker. From that moment on he knew that he wanted to play alto. In 1993, Walden won the prestigious Charlie Parker competition at Lincoln Centers Alice Tully Hall. He has shared stages with some of the most expressive creators in Jazz including Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Cobb, Nat Adderley, Lou Donaldson, Walter Booker Jr., Jimmy Owens, James Spaulding, Jon Ore, Jesse Davis, Roy Hargrove and Vincent Herring. He has also performed at notable Jazz venues including: The Fez, Visiones, Yardbird Suite, The Village Gate, The Five Spot, Sweet Basil, Smalls, Iridium, Birdland and La Villa in Paris. Myron has recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Ray Barretto, Tom Harrell, Lizz Wright, Russel Gunn, Omer Avital, Dion Parson/Ron Blake, Brian Blade Fellowship, David Weiss Sextet, The New Jazz Composer's Octet, Jeremy Pelt, Dan Faulk, Naoko Honda, Jason Lindner, Josh Roseman, Darren Barrett, Inbar Freedman and Daniel Freedman.
Myron Walden has used writing as a foundation to embark upon a career in jazz. "I have always enjoyed expression through composing, and creating emotions through choosing which notes proceed and follow any given chord". We hope you enjoy this new recording from Fresh Sound New Talent a worthy addition to a catalogue replete with some of the finest musicians working in contemporary jazz today.
"Myron Walden is a refreshing, individualistic alto saxophonist, perhaps the most original player on his instrument to come along since Kenny Garrett. Walden's sound, plaintive, shot through with a bluesy wail, is fully his own; there's nothing quite like it in jazz today. He takes lots of chances, often leaping outside the changes or bursting into swirling clusters of notes, but he never forgets to swing.
On This Way, Walden uses an instrumentation he apparently favors: a front line of alto and tenor sax and a rhythm section of bass and drums, with no chording instrument. Jimmy Greene brings his husky-toned tenor to these proceedings, adding much to the music. He swings hard and his rapport with Walden is deep. On Sooner Than Later, a burning variation on Sweet Georgia Brown, Greene pounces on Walden's final phrase as if he had played it himself, then charges into his own solo. The moment is electrifying and the continuity of musical thought is quite impressive.
In addition, this album benefits from Walden's pen. It consists entirely of Walden originals, all of which manifest structural and harmonic interest. There's an emphasis on cooking, with medium and fast tempos predominating. There are some Latin grooves, lots of hard swing, and only one ballad, the poignant Too Far To Turn Back. Walden and Greene devour this material, roaring through their solos and never letting up. When Walden begins his solo on the fast 3 Up 4 Down, bassist Vicente Archer lays out, leaving only drummer E.J. Strickland to accompany the altoist. Walden and Strickland rise to the occasion with powerful interaction, generating heat, light, and excitement."
-Marc Meyers, All About Jazz, July 2005
"Alto saxophonist Myron Waldens quartet on This Way, featuring bassist Vicente Archer, drummer E.J. Strickland, and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene, is quite robust.
The musicians engage in a scorching pursuit of heavy swinging and melodically dissonant bopping on Like I See It. As the saxophonists burn with discriminating abandon, their respective approach to thematic progressions within their solos is revealing. The temporal, harmonic, tonal, and rhythmic interplay between Greene and Walden is somewhat similar nonetheless. Virtuosity, among other things, is never in question. Archer, whose march on this cut is a tale unto itself, impresses with his solo and ensemble playing on the closer, segueing the composition towards its coda with a few bars of his own. Stricklands drumming is hyper-agile and densely fluid and features a continuous attack on top of the beat. He also takes a brilliant solo on Sooner Than Later.
This Way is Waldens compositional germ. As such, he is very much a high-caliber son of the times; his writing is fearless, compelling, and stimulating. Is it memorable, lasting, and influential? Perhaps. Proof lies in the legendary pudding of time.
As one listens to the bassists didgeridoo-like droning effect on Too Far to Turn Back, as well as his performance on the opener, one is reminded that some times its worth listening to a record from each players perspective. If one were to do so with this particular effort, one would discover a bassist whose execution as a team player is enhanced by his performances under the limelight. His sound is reliably thick, thudly and, when needed, plain nasty. Paying close attention to Strickland's malleable, pelted percussion would reveal a drummer of remarkable talents, whose work on this recording is a running commentary on precise touch, masterful time, and phrasingas well as a lesson on cymbals.
3 Up 4 Down has Walden waxing stratospheric. Greene and the leader, however, do sound engagingly fit when playing as a unit, both here and throughout the production. Swamp Thing is further proof that no objections or weighty qualifications can be offered about either of the leading muscular reedmen."
-Javier Antonio Quiñones Ortiz, All About Jazz