Tom Harrell


The Time of the Sun HighNote****

This is the fourth album by the fine quintet trumpeter, flügelhornist and composer Tom Harrell since 2006. Harrell’s writing, like his playing, is rooted in bop and modal jazz, and its individuality and freshness does much to influence the character of the band, in which Wayne Escoffery (tenor) completes a contrasting but complementary front line. In a superb rhythm section anchored by Ugonna Okegwo’s bass, drummer Johnathan Blake seems ever more central to the group’s fluid unity, with Danny Grissett (piano/Fender Rhodes) an excellent soloist and increasingly distinctive colour in the band’s tonal palette. Strikingly varied performances by this contemporary mainstream model of consistent creativity and mutual responsiveness include Dream Text, Modern Life, Cactusand Otra. And Harrell, as ever, is a marvel of sophistication and lyricism. See