...bristling with a visceral post-Weather Report energy that brings big bands into new light.
Drummer, vibraphonist, and composer Michael Waldrop's second release on Origin is an ambitious and diverse representation of his work, highlighted by a wide-ranging, cross-genre aesthetic and his wildly dynamic big band. Inspired by the earthy and primal works of Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam, arranger Jack Cooper transformed three of Waldrop's compositions into an evocative and epic "Origin Suite," with the movements titled after three of his paintings. Featuring Waldrop's Big Band, guitarist Jimi Tunnell, saxophonist Mario Cruz, and German vocalist Marc Secara, it's a dramatic opening for an album that goes on to feature several other very distinctive voices including percussionists Brad Dutz & Jose Rossy, and keyboardist Scott Kinsey, and compositions by Jimi Tunnell, Gerald Stockton, Waldrop and Jack Cooper.
"Waldrop writes hummable tunes that jump in guess-where twists...sharing bustling charts with ex-boss Jack Cooper, he packs missed crannies with lightning fills." -DOWNBEAT
THE ORIGIN SUITE (1-3) Jack Cooper / M. Waldrop (arr. Cooper):
1. La Jungla 3:52
2. Nativité 3:21
3. Al Final De La Noche 3:39
4. Through the Mist 5:10 M. Waldrop
5. Sheath and Sword 5:55 Jack Cooper
6. Ivana 5:41 M. Waldrop (arr. Cooper)
7. Mouzon 6:58 Jimi Tunnell
8. Doo Dat Tang 5:45 M. Waldrop (arr. Stockton)
9. Belgrade 7:19 M. Waldrop (arr. Cooper)
10. Vasconcelos 5:54 M. Waldrop
11. Doppler Effect 6:13 Gerald Stockton
12. Still Life 7:05 M. Waldrop
Michael Waldrop - drums, vibraphone
Marc Secara - vocals
Michael Waldrop Big Band (1,2,3,5,6,12):
SAXOPHONES: Will Campbell, Tim Ishii, Mario Cruz, Chris McGuire, Paul Baker
TROMBONES: Anthony Williams, Tony Baker, Greg Waits, John Wasson
TRUMPETS: Keith Jourdan, David Spencer, Larry Spencer, Mike Steinel
Travis Ranney - saxophones (9,11)
Richard Cole - saxophones (9,11)
Stephan Friel, saxophones (11)
Dan Marcus - trombones (9)
Brad Allison - trumpets (9)
Larry Panella - flutes (10)
Noel Johnstone - guitar (5,6,12)
Jimi Tunnell - guitar (1-3)
Brian Monroney - guitar (9,11)
Barry Aiken - keyboards (11)
Rick White, electric bass (11)
Jeff Plant - electric bass (1-3)
Lynn Seaton - acoustic bass (5,6,12)
Scott Steed - bass (9,10)
Steve Snyder - piano and organ (1,2,3,5,6,12)
Jose Rossy - percussion
Scott Kinsey - keyboards (7)
Wayne Peet - piano (12)
John Hansen - piano (4,9,10)
Brad Dutz - percussion (4,9,10,12)
Produced by Michael Waldrop
Associate Producer: Tim Reppert
Recorded by Kent Stump, Jan. 11/2017, Crystal Clear Sound, Dallas, TX
Additional recording by Jimi Tunnell at Buffalo Sound, Denton, TX;
Itai Schwartz at SkyMuse Studios, Seattle, WA;
Dave Dysart at Ice Station Zebra, Seattle, WA;
Michael Lewis at The Song Mill Studios, Hayden, Idaho;
Wayne Peet at KillZone Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Mixed by Tim Reppert at Soundtrack, Boston, MA, except (7),
mixed by Jimi Tunnell, Buffalo Sound, Denton, TX
Mastered by Scott Kinsey, Los Angeles, CA
Artist Photography by Jordan Lewis & Rachel Wasson
Cover photographs by Spencer Selover, Mareks Steins, David Schrader
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Jeff Tamarkin (Music Journalist)
Origin Suite accomplishes what so few contemporary big band albums are able to: It projects an intimacy, even as it opens vista upon vista and layer upon layer. So in sync are Michael Waldrop and his uniformly superb crew that - even at its most expansive, even as its soloists present their personalized statements and as its charts enter uncharted ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
A modern, big band deluxe date, this is a wide ranging, sweeping set that encompasses everything some real edge. Loaded with everything that makes you show up for a big band date, this is sure to have your head spinning in a good way. Killer stuff throughout. ...
All About Jazz (C. Michael Bailey)
4-STARS Percussionist and big band leader Michael Waldrop has had a very successful relationship with composer Dr. Jack Cooper, late of the University of Memphis, Berlin, and parts unknown. Waldrop attended the University of Memphis for his master's degree (helming Cooper's Jazz Orchestra of the Delta) before completing his doctorate at the Univer ...
Jazz Reader (Dave Gregg)
4 1/2 STARS "Origin Suite," the new jazz CD by drummer and composer Michael Waldrop, is a dazzling potpourri of diverse musical styles and aesthetics, a bold and ebullient example of how jazz forever revitalizes and remains infinite in its form of expression. In a review of Waldrop's previous album, his considerable talents were given the follo ...
Grammy-winning Producer (Kabir Sehgal)
Acclaimed percussionist, composer, and bandleader Michael Waldrop delivers a magnificent, eclectic, and intrepid album with Origin Suite. This union of timbres and textures, solos and styles has become the hallmark sound of Waldrop, whose music has come to define modern jazz, both honoring traditions and forging new ones. He is that rare triple thr ...
All About Jazz (Jack Bowers)
Drummer / vibraphonist Michael Waldrop 's intriguing Origin Suite (deftly arranged by Jack Cooper) sweeps away musical boundaries to make its points, one of which is that big-band jazz needn't be ensnared in a time warp but is capable of changing with the times to engender songs that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are thematically stylish. ...
Jazzenzo (Netherlands) (David Cohen)
Composer, percussionist and vibraphonist Michael Waldrop defines music as follows: "a serious ordering of sound that strives to send messages to the listener, which can not be communicated by spoken or written language". From someone who has formed such clear thoughts about nature and the task of music one is inclined to expect a lot of good things ...
Cadence (Robert Rusch)
MICHAEL WALDROP [drm/vib] is another artist with past ties to North Texas State and his big band is not traditional as displayed on ORIGIN SUITE. Recorded at various times from August 2010 though July 2017 presented here are a dozen originals mostly by Waldrop. There are also moments for small groupings. Purists will be set off by the lack of conti ...
Jazz Journal (London) (Brian Morton)
4-STARS The heart sinks a little at the threat of a concept suite celebrating the span of human history, then bucks a little with the thought that there have been some very good ones: Mingus's Pithecanthropus Erectus, Grachan Moncur III's Evolution, George Russell's The African Game... This latest attempt, written in emulation of Buddy Rich's e ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
Michael Waldrop leads from behind the drumset and vibes as he produces a muscular big band album of fresh material. The charts are all well crafted and quite varied. The major piece is the 3-part title track, with some frantic grooves and unique guitar sounds emanating from Jimi Tunnell's strings. The team creates a caravan with Brad Dutz's tablas ...
Modern Drummer (Ilya Stemkovsky)
Origin Suite is a swinging, grooving big band disc with drummer, vibraphonist, and composer Michael Waldrop adding thoughtful support under some fine frontline solos. Waldrop works out over the Latin flavors of "Origin Suite: 3) Al Final de la Noche" with sensitivity and wonderfully controlled snare and tom interplay. ...