This week I listened to a CD by Mel Lewis and Thad Jones called Consummation. The First track, Dedication, is an up-tempo jazz tune with a big band. However, the tune begins and ends as a ballad, creating a nice exposition and development throughout the track.
The third track, called "Tiptoe" was another that caught my attention. The drums and band work together to create a feeling of "tiptoeing" so to speak. The piano especially plays an important role in the creation of this feeling as it jumps in lightly and very rhythmically similar to count basie.
The CD also has an incredible version of "A child is Born," a beautiful and melodically incredible song. The band sounds amazing and induces a euphoria within the listener.
The last few tracks are funk-oriented and groove to a T. The band is so tight that the soloists are able to reach out and experiment. The sax solos do exactly that, experimenting with harmony and polyrhythmic lines throughout the course of the solo.
Overall the CD was quite a treat, as I am a huge fan of both funk and jazz. Moreover, a CD that integrates the two is even better in my book.