Drummer Tad Britton is an American story. Born and raised in Sturgis South Dakota, a town of five thousand. This is the fabric. Not all towns are five thousand for jazz musicians to materialize, to further their art. How could Shenandoah, Iowa know that Charlie Haden would become a fine jazz artist?
The jam session is a great teacher. All towns in a rural mid west seem five thousand, except Des Moines and other University state college towns. Forget the Iowa Caucuses, for the political air of jazz is as fresh as it is in Iowa and North and South Dakota, if you know where to look and how to listen. The Prairie States are rhythmic, the primeval course of what's happening in the course of our culture. The radio brought rural religion and bluegrass amongst flowing fields of grain.
We pay close attention to the musician's affirmative nature, not necessarily ascribed to the non structure of good and bad things. "Fire And Rain," written by James Taylor and arranged by Marc Seales as a Salvation Army hymnal is a good example. This is the America that Studs Terkel, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger envisioned . Profoundly simple, or profound simplicity may be better. If there's ever a language that brings us closer to the truth, this is jazz music, free, optimistic, momentous to the moment and the ultimate occasion. This is the stellar moment that we embrace. Gone is the drug predicate of the next second, littered with cell phone commentary and unrequited sedentary. The major theme to this CD is the intro number, Bil Evans "Time Remembered," the thematics and lyric realism of this piece set the tone for this project. Then George Dukes "Love Reborn" is an after thought to youth and spirituality with Jeff Johnson's hearty bass interjections as well as his wet seductive "Dark Kiss," perfect for all night radio. If you lay awake nights dreaming of what should have been, then slow dance to this.
Tad Britton's "Red Drum" is a percussive experience keeping within the tone of this set. Then this very mature and articulate swinging piece, "Falling Grace" by Steve Swallow as the band follows along in unison as natural as can be with Marc Seales piano leading and imploring the rest. And the ballet of "The Windmills Of Your Mind" a Michel LeGrand favorite is done so well, so delicate, so articulate with special care to nuance, beauty and post modern romance. TAD BRITON/MARC SEALES/JEFF JOHNSON and BLACK HILLS is magic, karmic and the kind of jazz you want to tell your friends and have a special place for later.