Bassist Will Goble's Atlanta-based rhythm section of pianist Louis Heriveaux and drummer Dave Potter makes breezy work of tricky tunes and seven originals. With tenor saxophonist Gregory Tardy adding a muscular, linear voice to the trio's bluesy voicings and punctuated rhythms, Consider the Blues
is not your garden-variety small-group jazz record.
Vocalist Tabreeca Woodside delivers a clear-toned gospel vibe to the traditional "Another Mad Done Gone" -- the only vocal tune on the album. Often performed with dirge-like sadness, this song of incarcerated hard times receives an altered New Orleans second-line groove courtesy of Potter's rudimental snare drum. Heriveaux's inventive jazz voicings and boppish noodling likewise lend a modern air to a dusty old song. As Tardy enters for his solo, the toe-tapping morphs into a slow and beautifully swinging blues. Goble's walking four becomes the main incentive for Tardy's solid blowing, then it's back to the marching groove for a few bars and out.
Goble's bass is not relegated to accompaniment and solos. Instead, his integral, often heady basslines establish the emotive precedent for every tune. His three-part "Kirtipur Suite," dedicated to those affected by the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, alternates heartfelt balladry with swinging hard bop. Tardy especially shines on the latter form, covering the extended range of his tenor with aggressive dexterity and color.
Speaking of color, the title of this CD may serve to keep listeners on track. All of Goble's tunes and arrangements--cool and grooving upon first listen--either allude to the blues or soak the canvas with a deep and affecting indigo.