Relative newcomer Brent Canter has released “Urgency Of Now” on Posi-tone Records. Canter is a guitarist who hails from Los Angeles and is also a former student of legendary guitarist Kenny Burrell. Adam Klipple and Pat Bianchi join him here on organ as well as Jordan Perlson on drums. Many saxophonists will also be delighted to see Seamus Blake is also featured within Canter’s quartet.
Dialogue begins with a guitar ostinato leading into the vibrant sound of Blake’s tenor on Canter’s melody. Perlson’s snare drum roll signals 16th note kicks in the rhythm section, which propels Blake into a soaring tenor saxophone solo. Blake's wonderful sound is only surpassed by his technically challenging, angular lines he creates so well. Canter solos second, showing his own enviable chops on electric guitar.
The pensive anthem Meet Me Halfway begins with Canter’s guitar introduction followed by the entrance of Bianchi on Organ and Person’s cymbals. A repeated figure played first on organ and then by guitar precedes Canter’s guitar solo. The repetitive line adds tension and grit, which releases beautifully into Canter’s guitar solo. Bianchi solos on organ swelling at first and then simply letting it rip. Canter’s solo guitar interlude sets up a more subdued statement of the melody following Bianchi’s energetic solo.
As the title implies Settle Down brings down the volume and the tempo considerably from the first two cuts. The mellow vibe of this tune is a delightful contrast to both of the previous tracks.
Seamus Blake returns to the mix on A Long Way From Home. It becomes increasingly apparent of Canter’s affinity for ostinati and repeated figures in his writing – a device that works well in this contemporary/modern jazz setting. Seamus Blake solos second reaching into the altissimo from the onset. He sings through the horn over the funky backdrop laid down by Canter, Klipple and Perlson. Klipple’s solo style on organ is difficult to describe. His playing is subdued at one moment and angry the next. Somehow it all works.
The appealing mix of tones and textures created by Brent Canter’s ensemble is never more apparent than on Transitions. The unassuming introduction gradually crescendos over Jordan Perlson’s frantic drums, shifting gears into a rock-infused, almost head banging crusade – all to diminish into the unknown.
Seamus Blake, although widely featured on “Urgency Of Now,” does not appear on every tune. The result is that his sound is always introduced as a fresh and new texture to the otherwise saxless ensemble. Klipple’s organ solo on With Eyes Closed begins with rhythmic and punctuated lines, lending way to more frenetic passages and more traditional sounding blues lines. He does not end there. Klipple continues to push the envelope with harmonic explorations others may not play as convincingly. The end result is an unpredictable, yet well crafted solo from Klipple. Canter solos next, taking some harmonic risks of his own. Blake begins to solo next over a decidedly more sparse groove. Blake, as Klipple and Canter before him, displays several different sides of himself as a soloist. Perlson briefly solos for the first time before the final melodic statement.
Marina Del Rey is a spirited 5/4 piece with just a hint of a Latin flair. Klipple solos first followed by Perlson soling on drums for the second time. Perlon’s solo is set over Canter’s repetitive figure along with Klipple’s left hand on the organ. The final melody showcases Perlson filling throughout to give the tune a driving force all the way to the final cadence.
Regrettably, the final cut does not include Seamus Blake. I likely speak for all the saxophonists out there when I say it would have been nice to hear Blake on the final cut as well. Despite the absence of Seamus Blake, the title cut is yet another gem spawned from guitarist and composer Brent Canter.
Not previous familiar with Brent Canter, I was not sure what “Urgency Of Now” might hold for this listener. With or without the addition of Seamus Blake on tenor saxophone, “Urgency Of Now” is a wonderfully written, executed, recorded and produced CD from Brent Canter and Posi-tone Records.
You can find out more about Brent Canter and other innovative recordings at www.posi-tone.com