|Dreambox Media/Encounter Records|
NEW RELEASE: "Heart and Soul" (DMJ-1142)
Mike's latest, recorded LIVE at Chris' Jazz Cafe', presents two Joe Henderson tunes, a Cedar Walton classic and six originals by electric / acoustic bassist Boone and/or his personnel: John Swana, EVI and valve trombone; Tim Brey, acoustic / electric keyboards; Anwar Marshall, drums; and Rhenda Fearrington, guest vocalist.
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"The album features four standards and four original tunes, with arrangements by Boone and pianists Jason Shattil and Uri Caine. The core group on the recording is Boone on acoustic and electric bass, Jason Shattil on piano, and Byron Landham on drums. Five tracks are augmented with John Swana on trumpet or flugelhorn, while vocalist Brenda Smith, pianist Uri Caine, guitarist Gregory Davis, and percussionist Rich Posmontier appear on one track each.
Old Head opens with a duet rendition of the Gershwin classic 'I Got Rhythm' performed by Boone and singer Brenda Smith. It serves as a declaration, as Boone's deft bass playing thumps along as solid as any drummer, playing the changes so adeptly that one forgets there are no chordal instruments in the arrangement. It's a feat he repeats with nearly every bass solo on the album.
The next standard, 'Stella By Starlight,' features an intro in 6/8 with piano accompanying the theme on a bowed bass, before launching into a quartet setting of the tune with solos by Swana, Boone, and the thunderous drumming of Landham taking center stage.
The original 'Old Head' proceeds as a hard bop tune with a catchy melody, driven by sparse piano comping, drum accentuations, and an alternation of walking bass lines and groovy bass motifs. 'Rest in Peace,' the final track and another Boone composition, departs from the prior tracks by incorporating synth, guitar, and percussion with the quartet (featuring Boone on electric bass) for a funk and R&B inspired finale.
Boone's playing is excellent, always dynamic, striking a balance between melodic and harmonic duties. As he demonstrates through two duets, jazz trio and quartet settings, and electric instrumentation, Mike Boone can do it all."
- All About Jazz
"...a straight-ahead jazz fest with some impressive twists. Among those is a cooking duet with pianist Uri Caine...a handsome duet with trumpeter John Swana on 'Up Jumped Swing' and there's...some nice moments, including the wacked-out oompah intro to 'Stella by Starlight.'" - Philadelphia Inquirer
"...consistently retains the interest of the listener...'Stella by Starlight' is the most interesting, bounding with joy, and sandwiched at beginning and end by Jason Shattil's pianistic circus romps in 3/4 time...this CD presents a worthwhile listening experience and is clearly the result of much planning and effort." - Cadence
"Old Head features Boone in a variety of settings, soloing, prodding, arcoing, blazing, accompanying and leading...Straight out of the chute on track #1, Boone commands immediate attention...the sound of this album belongs to trumpeter Swana as well, contributing assurance and lyricism...pianist Uri Caine once again proves that he's one of the most vastly underappreciated pianists on today's jazz scene..." - Jazz News