Posted on

John Barron at The Jazz Word weighs in on Doug Webb “Swing Shift”…

Doug Webb – Swing Shift

2011 Posi-Tone

Los Angeles-based saxophonist Doug Webb delivers a muscular set of high-end jam session jazz on Swing Shift, his third release of material taken from a marathon recording session in April, 2009. Along with bass legend Stanley Clarke and drummer Gerry Gibbs, Webb invites a trio of guest pianists to augment the disc’s six tracks of original and familiar pieces.

The lengthy “Patagonia Suite” finds Webb and company in a Coltrane frame of mind, with extended modal workouts and free-form excursions. The unrelenting and highly responsive rhythm section of Clarke and Gibbs, on full display here, propels Webb’s command of both soprano and tenor. The veteran woodwind man of countless studio sessions displays acute knowledge of the jazz saxophone lineage. “Patagonia Suite” and Frank Foster’s “Simone” also feature jaw-dropping piano solos from Mahesh Balasooriya.

Larry Goldings takes over the piano chair for Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes,” swinging hard and settling into a fiery up-tempo groove with Clarke, whose bass presence is characteristically larger-than-life throughout the recording. A soulful, straight-ahead reading of “Where or When” features the stripped-down duo of Webb and pianist Joe Bagg.