A somewhat atypical jazz musician from New York, this Greg Germann . He chose to tour for years as a member of Broadway shows and in between delivered some soundtracks for films. Until Clarence Penn got him back on the right jazz path. The result is this 'Tales Of Time' with the help of, among others, Donny McCaslin and Luis Perdomo.
It certainly wasn't the case that drummer Germann completely renounced jazz over the past two decades. The proof is that he kept composing, only he didn't have the sacred fire to come out with it. Fortunately, there was his mentor Clarence Penn who made it clear to him that it was time to turn his focus to a more personal outing than renting out his services to theater companies. The fact that Penn also proposed to take on the role of producer was probably the deciding factor. And when you find musicians like Donny McCaslin, Luis Perdomo and Yasushi Nakamura to work it all out, you've got plenty of trump cards on your hands to take the plunge.
Starting with a title like 'Rush Hour', which is also based on urgent and scrambled post bop, points to the frustration that prevailed among Germann and his musicians. The recording therefore took place in a single day (1 November 2020), in full pandemic and with only uncertainties ahead. The gentlemen went all out, but already deviated from the straight bop path. Like in 'Bli-Fi', a tribute to McCoy Tyner in which light African influences color the rhythm pattern, with Perdomo and McCaslin at their best.
They also regularly left room for quieter work such as the melancholy floating 'Quarantine' (another reference to the black Covid period) and the spiritually tinted 'Perspectives' with thin angelic vocals by Chelsea Forgenie . Then there are 'Fugue For Tought' and 'Fuguearella', or how you get from Bach to bop. There is also an ode to Lyle Mays ('Elysia'). In this way, Germann hides small points of reference everywhere that he took from current events and from his own musical sources of inspiration. For example, find the links with Dave Douglas, Avishai Cohen, Modern Jazz Quartet or even Jimmy Heath.
A CD like a puzzle and again a strong sounding release from the label that deals in groups that bend stylistic elements from classical jazz to their advantage.