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Royston, Rudy: Flatbed Buggy

Drummer Rudy Royston has been on the rise since releasing his debut 303 (2014) and its follow up Rise of Orion (2016), both on Greenleaf Music. The drummer is back with his third release Flatbed Buggy, a nostalgic look to the past as well as the journey ahead.

Royston’s fabulous cast of musicians includes John Ellis (bass clarinet, saxes), Gary Versace (accordion), Hank Roberts (cello) and Joe Martin (bass).

This quintet is solidified in the jazz idiom exploring an improvisational approach to post-bop and chamber music. Royston is an exceptional leader displaying a solid backbone while retaining a subtle complexity and nuance that befits the band’s complicated sound. While there is no doubting his versatile chops he often lets his surrounding band mates explore their surroundings with riveting solos and sturdy interplay. Sometimes the melodies can get lost in the midst of such skillful arrangements but such is not the case here. The melodies are superb throughout beginning with the first track “Soul Train”. Cello begins the piece with a melancholic note and slowly other instruments are added leading to fine solos on bass clarinet and bass. There are many feelings invoked with a bit of New Orleans’ Cajun near song’s end. The title track really grooves with solo accordion and bass clarinet being most prominent. The album’s theme of life long journey is realized in both “boy…MAN” and “girl…WOMAN”, the former featuring a wonderful bass solo with cello and accordion accents while the latter is very slow moving with subtle improvisation and a minimalistic approach. Each instrument is given ample space to create its moody atmosphere. “Hourglass” features another great bass line and the clarinet gives the music a nice lift just when it needs it. Excellent groove in this one.

Rudy Royston and his band have created a fine work of artful jazz with Flatbed Buggy. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Track Listing:
1. Soul Train (9:44)
2. Bed Bobbin’ (0:36)
3. Flatbed Buggy (5:45)
4. boy…MAN ((5:43)
5. Twirler (5:24)
6. Dirty Stetson (0:33)
7. Hourglass (7:16)
8. Bobblehead (5:52)
9. The Roadside Flowers (6:55)
10. Hold My Mule (0:36)
11. girl…WOMAN (11:08)
12. I Guess It’s Time To Go (1:36)

Added: October 25th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 177
Language: english

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