Seeing Joe Locke and Geoffrey Keezer recently at Zeferrellis Ambleside (where alongside John Patitucci they were both part of the Tim Garland / Graham Fitkin experimental concerto grosso "Momentum") was a reminder that this recent album had been overlooked in these reviews. Recorded live at the June 2005 Ballard Jazz Festival in Washington State, this is superb, high energy jazz riding on the edge of strong rock inspired drum patterns laid down by the awesome Terreon Gully whose drumming adds straightforward power to a Billy Cobham inspired rhythmic versatility. Joe Locke on vibes and Geoffrey Keezer on piano and keyboards fire acoustically brilliant virtuoso runs at each other with dazzling ability and sensitivity building complex walls of sound. Mike Pope, in a sense subdued compared with what a Jaco Pastorious influenced bassist might have attempted, fills out the sound which, though taken in live performance, is as bright and full range as any studio recording. There are hints at "Weather Report" (perhaps deriving something from Joe Zawinul's "Booogie Woogie Waltz", a version of which featuring Geoffrey Keezer and Terreon Gully had been performed just a year before on the Christian McBride album "Vertical Vision"). But comparison with keyboard led fusion bands like "Weather Report" or "Return To Forever" do not hit the mark; "Live In Seattle" is often thrilling and often beautiful rock influenced jazz with a special character all of its own performed by four musicians approaching the peak of their powers and drawing on modal jazz, post bop as well as fusion. Very highly recommended.
Origin Records has uploaded videos of two of the tracks ("Van Goch By Numbers" and "Tulipa") taken from the same concert at which the album was recorded together with an interview with Joe Locke promoting the album. Access by searching YouTube for 'Joe Locke'.