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The aptly titled “Right On Time” is a great jazz achievement.

Right On Time (PR8191)

Ken Fowser – Right On Time – Posi-Tone Records PR8191 56:02 ***** 5 stars

On his eighth release for Posi-Tone Records, Ken Fowser has established his credentials as a composer and band leader. Fronting an impressive sextet (Joe Magnarelli/trumpet; Steve Davis/trombone; Ed Cherry/guitar; Brian Charette/organ; and Willie Jones III/drums), Fowser opens stylishly on “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors”. With organ guitar and drums anchoring the bluesy jam, the saxophonist solos first with a concise straight jazz feeling. Charette follows on organ, displaying accessible soul chops before handing it off to Ed Cherry’s groove-based hooks. The composition (all originals) has chord modulations, a cool vamp and repeat chorus. With Latin-infused imagery, “Samba For Joe Bim” reflects the band chemistry, showcasing fluid sax runs and nimble drum accents. On “Duck And Cover” the group emulates straight ahead jazz with an agile solo on saxophone that segues to finger-snapping runs by trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and trombonist Steve Davis. Charette’s sprightly organ percolates, driven by Cherry and Jones. The arrangement skills of Fowser are on display with “ No Filter”. The introduction displays harmonic elasticity as Fowser, Davis and Magnarelli intermingle with fluency. Every instrumentalist gets to solo with finesse and colorful inflection. It is classic jazz and consistent with great jazz ensembles of the past. The group reunites at the end with glowing texture and eloquence.

In a change of pace, “Don’t Let Life Pass You By” is structured by a gentler 3/4 time signature. Fowser’s “blue” saxophone has both delicacy and potency with the right amount of flourish. Charette’s airy, melodic solo is hypnotic and Cherry’s wistful guitar sways with relaxed inflection. There is an organic murmur inside the jam. Drummer Jones kicks off”On My Way” with attitude. This medium-swing number features dynamic solos from Fowser and Charette with several drum fills and syncopation. The horns return for “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”. Revisiting blues/jazz, the sextet glides with fierce precision, replete with “nasty” solos by everyone. When they combine it is a tapestry of in-the-pocket erudition. “Fowser Time” is a full ensemble arrangement with a triple lead (sax, trumpet and trombone). Charette anchors the rhythm section. Fowler gets things started with a muscular solo framed by a chord modulation. Davis’ saucy trombone is next and is followed by Cherry’s hook-driven run and Magnarelli’s crisp trumpet notation. Charette adds another soul jazz solo before the triple lead wraps things up with judicious timing. In a nod to melancholy, Fowser and Cherry share a harmony lead in a low-key waltz (“A Poem For Elaine”). There is considerable atmospheric resonance as Fowser, Cherry and Charette solo respectively. The finale “Knights Of The Round is vibrant and up tempo. The reed/brass combination is blended with adroit cohesion. In succession, Fowser, Manganelli, Cherry and Charette cook with ferocity. A well-deserved solo by Jones leads to the big finish.

The aptly titled Right On Time is a great jazz achievement.

Robbie Gerson – Audiophile Audition

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All About Jazz likes what it hears on “Bright Side” by Doug Webb

mindset2From one perspective, Doug Webb‘s Bright Side is basically twelve tracks clothed in very recognizable forms —a few varieties of soul-jazz, a couple of heartfelt ballads, a taut bossa nova, and an array of middling and up tempo straight- ahead swingers. Although the material is thoroughly enjoyable, it’s tempting to succumb to a nagging notion that its all been done countless times before, and then simply move on to a record by yet another brave soul planting his/her flag in the jazz tradition. Fortunately, what enables Bright Side to add up to something more than a competent, professionally executed jazz record, is a slew of highlights, bright moments, and outright cool stuff that populates every track.

A quintet consisting of Webb’s tenor sax, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, guitarist Ed Cherry, organist Brian Charette, and drummer Steve Fidyk (all of whom have led dates for the Posi-Tone Records label) operates like a well-oiled machine. Listening to how nicely all of the parts fit together, and the fact that you can easily discern each player’s contribution, are important facets of the disc’s appeal. For instance, Cherry’s work on the heads and his comping behind individual soloists are delivered in subtle yet decisive ways that add rich, distinctive flavors—while taking up a minimum amount of space. The same can be said about Charette, whose primary concern is holding down the band’s bottom, but, with due cause, asserts himself by means of vivid chords. Fully capable of inhabiting any role the music requires, Fidyk often jolts the band with thickset snare accents, frequently plays fluid, inconspicuous jazz time, and always executes smart, stimulating fills regardless of the type of groove.

Webb’s voice as an improviser possesses real character regardless of the kind of song he’s playing. Check out the R & B influenced “Society Al” for the way in which he gets down by himself at the onset of the track, pausing and briefly falling silent amidst a fair amount honking and shouting. Later on during his solo over the band’s uncluttered funk, Webb executes notey runs, brief, tantalizing hesitations, quick, meaningful digressions, as well as broad, weighty tones—and makes all of them sound like they belong in close proximity to one another. Magnarelli’s solos—particularly on “Steak Sauce,” “Slo Mo,” and “Lunar”— contain a fair measure of brassy power mixed with a kind of subdued, floating quality that feels emotionally vulnerable. Cherry possesses a unique, understated style, doling out notes with a soulful circumspection. His all-too-brief intro to “One For Hank” is the epitome of sparse perfection, so simple that it’s easy to take it for granted. The guitarist’s gift for making improvised lines sound both ephemeral and sturdy is also apparent throughout the gentle “Bahia,” where every single note and chord breathes easy and carries an almost imperceptible weight.

In the end, Webb and company make it simple to enjoy the music instead of indulging in critical hair splitting or fretting about stylistic proclivities and influences.

David A. Orthmann – All About Jazz

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Smooth Technique and a love of Melody is “Bright Side” by Doug Webb

mindset2From the very first, sweet strains of tenor saxophone that leap from my CD player, I know it’s Doug Webb. I’ve been listening to his style and enjoying the excitement he creates on stage for three decades. Webb has been featured on over 150 jazz recordings and has added his blues soaked style to tracks used in hundreds of television programs and movies. He’s an on-demand, Southern California, saxophone session man for television and film. This, his seventh album release, is funk-based with Manarelli on trumpet blending well with Webb’s saxophone licks. Webb has penned seven out of the twelve songs on this CD. His composition skills showcase smooth technique and a love of melody. The addition of Charette on organ spices things up and thickens the stew when Webb puts the pots on to boil. This is particularly obvious on cut #3, “The Drive”, where everyone of the musicians seem powered up and propel their improvisational skills at a fast clip. I found Webb’s composition, “Melody for Margie” to be beautiful, promoting a visceral emotion. Another of his compositions I enjoyed immensely is “One For Hank” where Cherry on guitar gers to stretch out, as well as Charette on organ. All in all, this CD swings and Webb is flying above the solid rhythm section, as daring as a man on a trapeze. His music is exciting.

Dee Dee McNeil – musicalmemoirs’s blog

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Dusted Magazine shows us the “Bright Side” by Doug Webb

mindset2The title of Doug Webb’s seventh Positone release sums up not only a personal outlook on his vocation, but the reality of it as well, given a career involving 30+ years as a professional musician. Bright Side teams the tenorist with some of the brightest of his immediate peers on the imprint with trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, organist Brian Charette and guitarist Ed Cherry each successful leaders in their own right. Drummer Steve Fidyk doesn’t have a session under his auspices yet, but his calendar as a sideman remains packed with cherry-picked gigs.

As with earlier Webb dates the program draws liberally from a songbook of originals while threading in a handful of covers including the bossa nova “Bahia” and Oliver Nelson’s hardbop workhorse “The Drive”. Webb is a specialist at devising tight punchy heads that pack sizeable ensemble wallops while working flexibly as spring boards for economy-minded solos. “Society Al”, a titular riff on a Dexter Gordon composition, features his horn initially in isolation before the band arrives to advance a rolling, organ-forward groove.

“Silver Lining” gives Charette the chance to show off his skill with building swirling, descending textures as Fidyk carves out a choppy beat beside him. Magnarelli sits out leaving Webb to ride the waves through a solo ripe with both velocity and spirited inflections. Credited to someone with the surname Eastlee, “Steak Sauce” shows off the quintet’s shared facility with a boogaloo rhythm. Charette’s bass lines ooze grease and the horns lock on some lean, but tasty unisons atop another porous series of patterns from Fidyk. Cherry leans back and concerns himself with comping inventively under the frontline extemporizations before moving stepping out for a supple say of his own.

“Melody for Margie” and “One for Hank” reference more important figures in Webb’s personal history, the first at a ballad tempo that capitalize on Charette and Cherry’s capabilities at shaping amorous support lines and Fidyk’s gentle facility with brushes. The second personifies in sound a saxophonist answering to the surname Mobley, at least in general feel, as Webb glides through a set of cerulean-hued changes and into another plush-voiced solo that ranges purposefully through his horn’s middle register. Charette and Cherry also get spotlights before a group exit and the album caps off with another groove workout in the accommodating guise of Webb’s  “Funky Medina”. With friends and continued opportunities like these it’s easy to see how he entertains his abiding optimism.

Derek Taylor  –  Dusted Magazine

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Midwest record is the first to look on the “Bright Side” by Doug Webb

mindset2This is a direct descendant of the kind of jazz record that took jazz from smoky, late night New York clubs to the rec rooms of then nascent suburban sprawl.  With a crew of leaders backing up the first call sax man, this is a perfect example of where jazz meets commercial vibes and coming out none the worse for wear.  Pure jazz for pure jazzbos, listening dates don’t come any Better than this.  Well done.

Midwest Record

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Downbeat tells us about Ed Cherry’s Exhilarating Swing “Soul Tree”


An irrepressibly swinging guitarist who is also given to blues-soaked phrasing, Ed Cherry is in that lineage of classic organ group six-stringers that includes Pat Martino, George Benson, Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. One can even hear strains of Charlie Christian in his soulful solo on a swinging rendition of Kool & The Gang’s “Let The Music Take Your Mind,” which kicks off this winning trio outing featuring underrated organist Kyle Koehler and the wonderfully interactive drummer Anwar Marshall.

The musicians stroll through Jimmy Heath’s “A New Blue” in relaxed fashion, then apply a Latin tinge to Cherry’s buoyant boogaloo, “Rachel’s Step,” both of which showcase Koehler’s brilliant solo contributions.

The Latin flavor returns on an interpretation of Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes,” then the trio goes for the all-out burn on an uptempo rendition of Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower,” which has Cherry dipping into his Wes bag for some excellent octaves playing.

Highlights abound on this hand-in-glove organ trio outing. Cherry’s breezy “Little Girl Big Girl” has Koehler manipulating tones at the peak of his exhilarating solo in show-stopping fashion, while the guitarist opens his gently swinging rendition of Horace Silver’s gorgeous “Peace” with a beautiful unaccompanied intro before Marshall underscores with brushes and Koehler supplies velvety comping underneath.

Additionally, the trio delivers a whimsical take on John Coltrane’s “Central Park West” and a swinging rendition of Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” that gives everyone a solo and surprisingly morphs into a funky, Meters-inspired throwdown near the end. This Soul Tree yields some very tasty fruit indeed.

4 stars ★ ★ ★ ★

Bill Milkowski  –  Downbeat Magazine


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Italian magazine “Tracce Di Jazz” gets rooted in the “Soul Tree” by Ed Cherry

soultree_coverSoul Tree “It is wise to cultivate the tree which bears fruit in our soul”. This maxim of Henry David Thoreau stands in the booklet of “Soul Tree” and packs as best you can the sense of this work that marks the return as leader of the excellent guitarist Ed Cherry Posi-tone label.
The most canonical of the Organ Trio, completed by Kyle Koehler to Hammond and drummer Anwar Marshall, wanders with quiet Paws in vast territories, which include the famous “Central Park West” coltraniano as well as the forgotten “Ode To Angela” by Harold Land, and even songs by Freddie Hubbard, Dave Brubeck, Mal Waldron, a couple of originals hit the spot and the delightful rereading located on the opening track, album/manifesto “Let The Music Take Your Mind” by Kool And The Gang’s repertoire.
The sexagenarian And Cherry does not enjoy some great popularity despite the stunning curriculum including ben 14 years alongside Dizzy Gillespie and presence in engravings consigned to history, so that this “Soul Tree” can be an opportunity to get acquainted with this jazz master’s class has distilled in a personal way the style of George Benson , Pat Martino and, especially, of the beloved Grant Green.
Some sort of atavistic candor, punctuated by reassuring cadences and infused with blues, away thousand miles from intellectual reverberations, illuminates this “Soul Tree” that runs its elegant branches with honesty and naturalness in dialogue “in the tradition”, always relaxed among the guitar of the leader and the Philadelphia organist Kyle Koheler, former rising star worthy of consideration, already distinguished himself alongside Bobby Watson and Jimmy Heat , as shown in the original “Rachel’s Step”, distilled soul jazz with Latin, and even more so in conclusion, liberating “Peace” by Horace Silver, high priest, we believe in blessing, this stylistic scope whose whole job fits ideally.
The smoothness of the episodes make the whole extremely enjoyable disc, and among other things guitar unnecessarily complex or enveloped on themselves, the overall effect that Ed Cherry & Co. reach is to an invigorating breath of fresh air among the branches of the tree of the soul.     – Fabio Castro

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Raul De Gama dishes out a fine review of “Soul Tree”


Ever the great raconteur Duke Ellington once described (to Stanley Dance) the making of good music as akin to cooking a fine dish, which is to say: you have to add only the finest ingredients, cook to perfection and serve with finesse. There are many fine recordings that would meet this description. This 2016 recording by Ed Cherry – Soul Tree – is most certainly one of them. If one word were to be used to describe in a nutshell what it’s like, that word would certainly be – taking a leaf from Ellington’s book – ‘delicious’. In Cherry’s voluptuous guitar lines, in the mighty growl of Kyle Koehler’s organ and in the fascinating rhythm of Anwar Marshall’s drums, you have the finest ingredients… the rest as they say is history. But, of course, there is much more.

Ed Cherry SoultreeEd Cherry cut his proverbial teeth with Dizzy Gillespie’s mighty United Nations Orchestra. He played in that ensemble from 1978 to 1993 where he refused to be just part of the rhythm section. In fact there is some fine music out there – not on record, unfortunately – where Gillespie shone the spotlight on his young protégée. But Cherry is also something of a musical chameleon. While he played rock-steady jazz and has been around the block with that kind of repertoire, he also pushed the envelope; inhabited the edges, so to speak, with Henry Threadgill and Hamiet Bluiett, to name just two of the New Thing’s superstars. On this recording, Soul Tree Ed Cherry returns to standard repertoire. But old habits die hard and Cherry shows once again that he will not be a standards guitar player.

There’s visceral rhythmic excitement in this performance by the trio. The language of the music is literally lifted off the page when they play. Long-limbed repertoire such as Mal Waldron’s Soul Eyes, Freddie Hubbard’s Little Sunflower, John Coltrane’s Central Park West and Horace Silver’s Peace form the spine of this performance. Performances have a wonderful, flexible sense of timing. Cherry floats exquisitely limpid lines in the graceful, contrapuntal Central Park West, for instance, allowing it effortlessly to unfold. The always sensitive Koehler brings his velvety sound to this piece while Marshall is warmly spontaneous, unleashing ardent rhythmic figures to the melody without a fuss. The three musicians together bring a huge range of tonal colour to this chart as well as to the other material on the album.

Cherry and Marshall also share a supple rhythmic flexibility on Dave Brubeck’s In Your Own Sweet Way. The opening is big-boned and generous, with a sense of depth and spaciousness that gives the piece an almost orchestral scale – with generous help from Koehler, of course. Cherry’s own composition Little Girl Big Girl is no less exciting, with all three musicians diving headlong into its development with more than a generous hint of abandon. As a result of all of this the song is powerfully and lovingly delivered. Still, an overall glistening delicacy is added to the power of the instrumental delivery and this remarkable variation of character is what makes this disc so memorable. Delicious? There seems hardly a better word to describe this performance when all is said and done. Ed Cherry, Kyle Koehler and Anwar Marshall have dished out a fine stew indeed.

Track List: Let the Music Take Your Mind; A New Blue; Rachel’s Step; Soul Eyes; Little Sunflower; Central Park West; Little Girl Big Girl; Ode to Angela; In Your Own Sweet Way; Peace.

By Raul da Gama –  Mar 1, 2016

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Dusty Groove reviews Ed Cherry’s new one “Soul Tree”


A killer guitar and Hammond session with a really sublime sort of sound – a groove that’s wonderfully free of cliche – and which has an open, spacious quality that few artists can match! Given the instrumentation, the album’s steeped in tradition, but never tries to just rehash an older Prestige Records vibe – and instead guitarist Ed Cherry and organist Kyle Koehler find a way of soaring out in their own spirits – opening up strongly in a bass-less trio that only features the drums of Anwar Marshall to keep things snapping along. The pairing is perfect – on the level of Grant Green with Larry Young, or Pat Martino with Don Patterson – yet very much with its own spirit, too. Cherry’s arrangements are great, too – providing very fresh takes on familiar tunes, alongside his own compositions. Titles include “Central Park West”, “A New Blue”, “Rachel’s Step”, “Ode To Angela”, “Little Sunflower”, “Little Girl Big Girl”, and “Peace”.

Dusty Groove

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Midwest Record – Ed Cherry will drive you to the “Soul Tree”


The vet guitar man that more than earned his spurs in Dizzy Gillespie’s last stand kicks an organ trio into gear on his latest that explores the past with a big ear open to the future. A real swinging groover of a date, all you need to do is sit back and let Cherry and his crew do all the driving–which they do in a big, bold way. Hot stuff that never let’s you down, this is a solid date from start to finish.