Saxist Ron Blake and Drummer Dion Parson have released an interesting CD called 21st Century. This recording has it all, great compositions, great playing, and above all, a sense of fun. The opener, Down De Road (written by Dion) makes you want to not only get up and dance, but celebrate life. With it's bouncy rhythms, and fine interplay, this tune really comes together. Welcome Home is a mid tempo piece that features Ron Blakes thoughtful, and finely executed chops. The band joins Ron for an almost waltz like vehicle, that showcases the cohesiveness of this group. Guitarist, Ron Jackson delivers an appealing solo mid way through the piece that offers a gentleness and intricacy that invites the listener to engage in this piece. Avocado begins with Dion Parson's sensitive drum work before the rest of the band joins in. The rhythm section always driving the beat, and funkifying the bottom layer. A debt to Sonny Rollins is evident throughout. Take a listen to 21st Century, and you will notice how similar it sounds to Rollins', "Don't Stop The Carnival". If 21st Century implies that the spirit of Sonny Rollins will take us to the next millennium, I can hardly wait!
As far as I know, this is their first CD together. Hopefully it will not be their last. Here's hoping that they will take us into the next millennium with more beautiful sounds.