Courtney Pine - Transition In Tradition (4 stars)

Courtney Pine - Transition In Tradition


The saxophonist sub-titles this powerful and eclectic outing ‘En homage à Sidney Bechet’, but admirers of that early jazz master may find that to be a bit of a red herring if they expect it to actually sound like the first great soprano saxophone star. As always, Pine ploughs his own furrow through the tangled thickets of black music, culture and history, and comes out sounding like no one other than himself.

One of his strongest recordings, it features the kind of eclectic mix of traditions that we have come to expect from him. Modern jazz, New Orleans jazz, reggae, South American and African music, and even a bit of what sounds like klezmer are all thrown into the mix, and recombined in new relationships in the process. The powerful band features Pine’s bass clarinet, soprano saxophone and alto flute (but no tenor), Omar Puente’s electric violin, guitarist Cameron Pierre, Alex Wilson on piano.


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