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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Here’s a trio masterfully led by a leader who assumes his role perfectly and expresses it with a mix that puts his drums well forward.

Alvin Queen – whose mentor was Elvin Jones when he was still a teenager – went on to enjoy a remarkable career as a sideman with Nina Simone, George Benson, Pharoah Sanders and Horace Silver, among others.

For this second trio recording, following “Night Train to Copenhagen” in 2021, the septuagenarian drummer has chosen two partners who could be his sons, and a repertoire featuring standards by the Gershwin brothers, Rodgers & Hart and Stephen Sondheim, as well as two more modern themes by pianist Cedar Walton, with whom Queen once played. Favoring a dynamic, colorful drumming style, the leader essentially chose themes in swift or medium tempo, and – apart from a slow waltz where he used brushes – left his pianist to handle two ballads in the repertoire on his own.

On the other ten themes, Alvin Queen offers us a very classical trio, and we sense that his watchword is, as the CD title indicates, to feel good rather than sound original. We may be a little frustrated not to hear the pianist and bassist express themselves in a freer, more modern way, but if we adhere to the timeless aesthetic that Queen has chosen to propose, we’ll be delighted to hear this trio where the drums display, among other things on the cymbals, an impressive variety of timbres, dynamics and tempos that only a musician who – for want of being a first-rate leader – has achieved a remarkable mastery of his instrument, is capable of.

Line up :

Alvin Queen: drums

Carlton Holmes: piano, synthesizer

Danton Boller: double bass

Feeling Good is a “Hit Couleurs Jazz” and is part of the “Best of The Month” selection on Couleurs Jazz Radio. It was released by “Stunt Records” on June 21, 2024.

©Photo Header and cover Annett Ahrends


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