John Surman QT.: Brewster's Rooster
Bob Burnett: I have Jeff Goold to thank for the heads-up about the release of this album earlier in the summer. Jeff was my "RA" in the dorm for freshman year of college at Ohio University. I recall that moment of moving into my room, several bins of albums in tow. Well......more than several. More like an amount that required me to rent a U-Haul to get to school. Anyway, Jeff came into the picture because we immediately realized we had an ECM label bond. Whew.....what a relief that was to know there were others "out there" who connected with Nana Vasconcelos! Old and New Dreams! John Abercrombie! Anyway, we're 30 years down the road now and Jeff is still playing percussion in the Nashville area and diggin' the ECM scene. The message he sent me was to check out Brewster's Rooster because it revisited the feel of the classic ECM trio, Gateway (John Abercrombie, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland) as well as the New Directions quartet. (John Abercrombie, Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Gomez, Lester Bowie).
While I appreciate and identify with the comparison to past ECM outings, Brewster's Rooster is a great example in its own right of players who have been around, know each other and make something happen in contemporary times. It has terrific "swing", stays tight while always expanding ideas through interplay and improvisation. I was fortunate to have seen this quartet live earlier in the year. My pal Marc and I (another 30 year ECM vet friend) had terrific seats at Blues Alley in Washington, DC. John Surman played mostly soprano sax--unfortunately his baritone broke in the middle of the set but he soldiered on. Jack DeJohnette was breathtaking. Simply put he continues to be the most refreshing, inventive drummer I know of. John Abercrombie re-invents the guitar--his phrasing, touch and comping are gifts to behold. Drew Gress held it all together on bass. The gig was one of the most exciting live experiences I've had in years. Listening to the album brings back fond memories of the creative energy this group of musicians posses. This album is easily available many different ways via download, amazon, retail and I suggest you find one of them and get it--even if you don't consider yourself an "jazz" person. You owe your senses a nice burst of these treasured musicians.