Tall Poppies


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 TP (1-901)


Off the Beaten Track

Don Rader - flugelhorn
Roger Frampton - piano

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

A rare chance to hear such beautiful horn playing without the distraction of bass and drums. Rader and Frampton work beautifully together, playing original compositions, standards and new work improvised in the studio.

On Off the Beaten Track, Don Rader and Roger Frampton achieve the rare feat of creating music thatís both adventurous and lovely. The two closing tracks provide ample testimony. Framptonís "Highjinks" offers a sly nod to Ornette with a dizzy line executed by sopranino and trumpet. The joint improvisation "Two of One ... " closes the date with an aching cry. Even when essaying tunes from the hard bop repertoire Ė notably Horace Silverís "Quicksilver" and Jimmy Heathís "CTA" Ė Rader and Frampton avoid rote recital. Instead Rader incorporates extended references to "Inch Worm" on "CTA" and "Oh, You Beautiful Doll" on "Quicksilver," which are more touchstones than quips. And "The Meaning of the Blues" gets a fulsome reading that stands up well to the Davis-Evans version. (Interestingly, Rader and Frampton also play J.J. Johnsonís "Lament" which Evans and Davis linked to "Meaning" on Miles Ahead.) Their "Upper Manhattan Medical Group" also is noteworthy.

A great deal of the credit goes to Raderís burnished, conversational way with a melody, whether composed or created on the spot. Given his way with a line, itís not surprising that he fills his improvisations wilh tender lyricism. His own "Ashyia" gives him an opportunity to demonstrate the full range ot his lyric powers. Frampton is more reserved, but his playing provides a context for Raderís trumpeting. When I woke up one morning with his playing still in my head from the night before, it was a well-considered padding, a supple stride that I heard. His solos, too, are lyrical, lush with more than a touch of sustain pedal. His sopranino and recorder add additional color. This is music of great range and enduring beauty.
David Dupont
Cadence August 1999

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 TP (1-901)



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