Reviews that mention Clarence Penn

November 12, 2019

Uri Caine

The Passion of Octavius Catto
816 Music 816-1904

By Ken Waxman

Concise in length but expansive in execution, this CD could be termed a secular oratorio, celebrating the life, contributions and premature violent death of African-American activist Octavius Catto (1839-1871), Composed by pianist Uri Caine, the 10-part, 29-minute program integrates the sophisticated rhythms of Caine’s trio including bassist Mike Boone and drummer Clarence Penn with the amplified coloring provided by a full-sized, specially constituted philharmonic orchestra conducted by André Raphel, two vocal ensembles and, most crucially, singer Barbara Walker who personalizes episodes in Catto’s storied life that ended in murder during election day riots when Blacks first tried to vote in post-bellum Philadelphia. MORE

July 27, 2006

Dave Douglas Quintet

Meaning and Mystery
Greenleaf Music GRE-04

Reminiscent of Miles Davis’ ability to replace one notable saxophonist with another in his classic bands, trumpeter Dave Douglas has tapped tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin to succeed Chris Potter and – briefly – Rick Margitza in his working quintet’s front line.

California native McCaslin, who played with the Mingus Big Band and Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra, at points injects rubato comments, but usually lets his riffing arpeggios serve as foils to Douglas’ trumpeting multiphonics. Dutiful on his first CD with the band, McCaslin’s musical relationship vis-à-vis the mercurial brassman is still somewhat diffident – like Hank Mobley’s was with Davis. MORE