While every listener may not be familiar with the name of the group, most members of the Sangha Quartet
will certainly ring a bell. The avant-garde quartet recorded Fear Of Roaming
shortly after returning from a 2003 European tour with the CD being issued in late 2004.
Pianist Kevin Hays
appears on more than a dozen albums including seven under his own leadership. He has appeared with such stars as Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer, Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes and Chris Potter. The keyboardist contributes five compositions and one arrangement to this CD.
Canadian tenor man, Seamus Blake
now works out of New York and has received a lot of recognition in recent years. Magazines like Downbeat
and Jazz Times
have openly praised his abilities. A longtime member of the Mingus Big Band, Blake also appears with Billy Drummond, Victor Lewis and with various Kevin Hays outfits.
Bassist Larry Grenadier
has shared the stage with some of the legends of jazz. His gig book included names like Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau. He is still an integral part of Mehldau’s group. It’s difficult to listen to a jazz radio program today without hearing mention of this outstanding bassist.
Drummer Bill Stewart
is known for his work with Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny and Chick Corea. His own BlueNote album drew accolades from the New York jazz press. Fear Of Roaming
is as modern as tomorrow. By my own admission, I’m fan of classic jazz but still found a lot to enjoy on this release. Seamus Blake stands out on Stellar
. The Grind
is a funky piece that appealed to my "moldy fig" tastes. Kevin Hays’ composition Black Elk
is a charmer. Hays offers some passages on wood flute that really perk up the listener’s ears. I really enjoyed the album. That’s quite a compliment from an "aging Dixielander."