CD New Beginnings [Terell Stafford] (CD 900073),
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New Beginnings [Terell Stafford]

  • 1. Soft Winds
    2. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed
    3. He Knows How Much We Can Bear
    4. Selah
    5. Le Maurier
    6. Berda's Bounce
    7. Blame It on My Youth
    8. Touch of Your Lips, The
    9. Kumbaya
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 402

  • Credits
    ProducerBruce Barth; Terell Stafford
    EngineerJoe Marciano

    Personnel: Terell Stafford (trumpet, flugelhorn); Steve Wilson (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Dick Oatts, Jesse Davis (alto saxophone); Harry Allen (tenor saxophone); Mulgrew Miller (piano); Derrick Hodge (acoustic & electric basses); Dana Hall (drums).
    Recorded at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, New York on January 15 & 16, 2003.
    Named after a suite composed for the Dayton, OH, arts organization Cityfolk, New Beginnings buckles under the weight of its diverse choice of material, just holding together due to the musicians' expertise. Terell Stafford bounces between trumpet and flgelhorn, the choice of material ranges from standards to funk, and there must have been a rotating door for the four saxophonists. Luckily, our leader is a "musician's musician," so if listeners consider it a chance to sit in on Stafford's class at Temple, they'll be rewarded. Stafford steps up slowly to Fletcher Henderson's "Soft Winds" before having some fun, assuredly stretching notes before handing it over to Jesse Davis and Harry Allen's more relaxed and soulful approaches. It's a great opener, with solos being bounced back and forth to introduce the players quickly. Mulgrew Miller is in fine form throughout the record, placing his solo between the beats on "I Don't Wanna Be Kissed" and providing ample support for the leads elsewhere. Derrick Hodge's acoustic bass is spot-on, but less compelling when he switches to electric for the anemic funk of "Selah," the "New Beginnings Suite" opener. The three-song suite could be taken apart without anyone noticing, but its structure does allow the sideman ample room to explore on an already sideman-friendly record. Stafford slinks across Stephen Scott's wonderful arrangement of "Kumbaya" and Steve Wilson's brilliant soprano pushes the whole band toward a rapturous ending. It's definitely the album's winner, and as a closer it leaves the listener exalted. ~ David Jeffries

  • Critic Reviews
    JazzTimes (12/03, p.106) - "[Stafford] delivers a rousing melodic reading and moving solo. Overall, NEW BEGINNINGS stands as a highly worthwhile outing."
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