Kevin Crabb’s CD, “Waltz For Dylan,” features nine tunes penned by Crabb, with the composer/bandleader on drums, John Beasley on piano, the legendary Don Thompson on bass, and Kelly Jefferson on saxophone.
FIVE STAR REVIEWS INCLUDING:
“…Kevin Crabb happens to be one of the most gifted jazz composers and drummers around. Big words? BIG meaning! Absolutely five stars! “
- Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States),“First Class Jazz – Smooth, Witty, Informed”,Amazon.com, September 11, 2011
“If a band is playing contemporary mainstream jazz, swinging is still an important factor. Kevin Crabb’s Waltz for Dylan (Crabbclaw) SWINGS….”
- Grego Applegate Edwards,gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com, December 19,2011 at 5:14am
“…To repeat, Crabb is a musician! Two members of his group, also Canadians, are bassist Don Thompson and saxophonist Kelly Jefferson; both have played with numerous name artists during their careers. Pianist John Beasley, the sole American, also has worked with many names, including Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Carly Simon and Barbra Streisand. The point? This is a talented, first-echelon quartet….”
- Review by Ric Bang, www.jazzscan.com, December 8, 2011
“Kevin leads this fantastic quartet with drums that are crisp, clear and full of energy that just won’t quit… he certainly picked the right playmates in John Beasley (piano), Don Thompson (bass) and Kelly Jefferson (sax), as well-evidenced on one of my favorite tracks, the lively “It Could Happen” – the only drawback on this track is that it was only 3:21 – I could have listened to another 3 minutes (or so), to be sure! This is a drummer you won’t soon forget… he doesn’t “take over” the session, but you always know he’s there… check out the wonderful “Spirit Dance” to hear why I say that… the players energies are so evenly balanced that it’s all just one big party… in fact, listening back to this track for the 15th time, I realize it’s my absolute favorite of the 9 tunes presented here for your aural pleasure. I give Kevin & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED….”
- Review by Rotcod Zzaj, rotcodzzaj.com October 28, 2011
“…There are several reasons to pay close attention to Crabb. For one, he is a hallmark of unobtrusive taste. His snare drum technique, for instance, is superlative and should not be taken for granted. Craftsmanship and convincing composition are what helps make Waltz for Dylan a strong session of modern jazz: the mixture of complete musicianship and great music results in a record which can be easily recommended to any jazz fan…”
- Review by Doug Simpson, Drummer Kevin Crabb proves he’s much more than just a time-keeper on his debut solo effort., audaud.com, October 27, 2011
“….An internationally-recognized drummer, Crabb has appeared on the cover of Drums, Etc. and was featured in the June 2011 issue of Modern Drummer. On Waltz For Dylan, Crabb features the debut of nine original compositions highlighting his more than appreciable chops on the instrument and his talents as a composer….Waltz For Dylan delivers a winning musical statement for Kevin Crabb. It combines great musicianship with great music wrapped up in an enjoyable and challenging session of modern jazz.”
- Edward Blanco, EJAZZNEWS.COM, CD Reviews, October 14, 2011
“…A terrific find.”
- Nick DeRiso, “Half Notes: Kevin Crabb – Waltz for Dylan (2011),www.somethingelsereviews.com, October 12, 2011 8:44 am
“.…Crabb’s drumming is a touchstone of understated taste and, like bassist Don Thompson, he works his way into the conversations instead of simply working beneath them. Touch, taste, and the ability to wholly integrate oneself into the musical make-up of song, while moving beyond the role of a mere timekeeper, is the benchmark for drumming quality today and, by those standards, Waltz For Dylan is as much a “drummer’s record” as anything out there.…”
- Dan Bilawsky, “ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM, Published: September 27, 2011
What other musicians are saying about “Waltz for Dylan”…
“A TERRIFIC jazz record in any collection.”
- Gary Grant, Producer (Arturo Sandoval,Al Jarreau, Take 6) and Trumpet (Michael Jackson,Earth, Wind & Fire)
“Kevin Crabb has blended the art of drumming and composition masterfully. This is a great record.”
- Richard Martinez, Drummer, Educator, General Manager of Music Is Hope Foundation
ADDITIONAL ALBUM NOTES:
Kevin Crabb walks, to borrow from an ancient Scottish saying, with jam on both feet. It's not just that he's an accomplished drummer and composer. Think of it. As we speak, Kevin has gained a toe hold in the Grammy camp. Even if he loses he wins. Add to that the fact that with this album, Kevin has made giant steps into a jazz community in need of respite from the standards.
I speak as a drummer who has made a transition from almost daily studio work to occasional producing. That is, I've been on both sides of the glass. And I write about it in magazines and now on a website. The truth is that the same things that make drummers exciting are the things that make them as welcome as racehorses at a garden party.
Blessedly there are no such calamities in the present instance. Kevin Crabb is not going to sacrifice his compositions to arbitrary tom fills or crash cymbal excursions. This is not to say he's tinkling in the background, not when Don Thompson has loaned Kevin his personal stash of old K Zildjian cymbals and a Ludwig Jazzette kit that hearkens to Roy Haynes; or when Kevin is inspired by the classic overtones of a Steinway grand.
This is a work distinguished by tightly executed ensemble figures emerging naturally from fine tunes, spiked with bouts of rousing collective improvisation, captured in one full day, not three months. The jazz is alive, when, for example, Kevin's singing/urging leaks through his overhead mics in “Snow”. The jazz gains from Thompson's uncanny ability to get more bottom end from his upright on up-tempo numbers than others manage on ballads. The jazz feeds from Jefferson's ability to pump like a fire hose. And the jazz takes sustenance from Beasley comping, then standing out so effectively, as in “Spirit Dance”; here he's getting frisky as he makes the transition from samba march to montuno, a shout-chorus call that demands appropriate responses from Crabb.
If Richard Wilson can hear this album from beyond the pale, and Kevin knows that his mentor will spite the devil to do just that, he's grinning ear to ear, secure in the knowledge that he's one up on the deal he made with his student. The terms were simple. Richard would tutor Kevin in the craft of drumming and nurture the higher faculties; Kevin Crabb would pay handsomely in works of art.
T. Bruce Wittet
Drummer, music industry journalist (editor: Drums Etc; senior writer: Modern Drummer; correspondent, Rhythm, Down Beat, etc), founder Tbrucewittet.com, online magazine for drummers.