Hard bop is where trumpeter Malachi Thomspon hangs his stylistic hat. You can hear his hero Lee Morgan's clean, punchy melodicism and blues sensibility in everything he plays. But as the name of his band, The Freebop Band, tells you, his bop is free--free to embrace everything from cool modes to atonal flights, jazz-funk to the traditional New Orleans sound. This is Malachi's eighth Delmark CD and it features seven new original Thompson compositions and a unique arrangement for Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti". Vocalist Dee Alexander lends her natural radiance and breezy phrasing to "Surrender Your Love". And there's also a wild poetic excursion with the extraordinary bassist and blythe spirit Fred Hopkins, who passed away not long after the recording.
Malachi Thompson also appears on:
Timeline, The Jaz Life, Lift Every Voice, New Standards, 47th Street, and Freebop Now!
1. Rising Daystar
3. Busy Little Fingers
5. Surrender Your Love
6. Fanfare For Trane
7. Song For Morgan
8. Circles In The Air (Dedicated To Fred Hopkins)
"Trumpeter Malachi Thompsons quintet plays it warm and easy. This friendly
vibe isnt the result of a smooth-jazz production, but of Thompsons
20 years of leading ensembles in Chicago: These cats play with plenty of heart...
[Thompsons] tone is full and sweet, making him an ideal balladeer.
When applied to his splendid soul-jazz themes, the result resembles Freddie
Hubbard... Its often suggested that musicians must make a stark choice
between bop neo-classicism and anything-goes avant-garderie. Thompson should
be applauded for keeping his third streamstylings -- both groovy and modernist
-- on tap. "
-Ben Watson, Jazziz
"The entire CD was a treat. This multi-talented foursome has delivered a truly
African and American sound."
- Rapport Guide to Books & Music, LA, CA
"An alluring listen...powerful forays simultaneously expressing modern and
- Jazz & Blues Report