Sunday, March 20, 2016

USA: Willie Jones Iii -Groundwork (Wj3 Records 2016)

Highly accomplished modern jazz drummer, Willie Jones III, leads an all-star group on Groundwork, his latest album. Jones, who 'never fails to assemble a strong crew' (NY Times) convenes living legends Buster Williams (bass) and Eddie Henderson (trumpet), jazz virtuoso Eric Reed (piano) and rising stars Warren Wolf (vibes) and Stacy Dillard (saxophones). Willie Jones III explores the soulful side of jazz, performing tunes by his former employer and great influence Cedar Walton, and debuting new arrangements of tunes by Eric Reed, Buster Williams and more. Groundwork key tracks include the title tune and 'Hindsight,' both by Cedar Walton. Eric Reed's 'New Boundary' is a tribute to modern jazz musician Dwayne Burno; the song title is an anagram of the late great bassist's name. Throughout his career, Willie Jones III has lent his supple rhythm and buoyant spirit to artists like Cedar Walton, Milt Jackson, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins and Roy Hargrove. Today, he continues to become one of jazz music's most sought out bandleaders.