Down Beat - 10/00, pp.74-53 stars out of 5
- "It's clear from the opening track that this foursome came prepared to blow for this October 1998 Manhattan Center concert..."
Full performer name: John Abercrombie/Peter Erskine/John Patitucci/Bob Mintzer.
Personnel: John Abercrombie (guitar); Bob Mintzer (saxophone); John Patitucci (bass); Peter Erskine (drums).
Recorded at The Manhattan Center, New York, New York on October 17, 1998.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
Audio Mixer: Malcolm Pollack.
Recording information: The Manhatten Center, NY (10/17/1998).
Photographer: R. Andrew Lepley.
When the D'Addario musical instrument company decided to put together a supergroup of their endorsers for a once-in-a-lifetime tour, they didn't fool around. They managed to pull guitarist John Abercrombie, drummer Peter Erskine, saxophonist Bob Mintzer, and bassist John Patitucci away from their busy schedules to display their talents to ecstatic fans everywhere. This set, caught live at New York's Manhattan Center, is a stunning performance that catches each of these virtuosos at his best.
One of the most refreshing aspects of the set is the lack of standards. Instead, all of the tunes were penned by the members of the quartet, which results in the music having a sparkling quality that speaks of fresh ideas and an intimate connection. The pieces range in style from the bopping opener "Runferyerlife" to the esoteric "Bass Desires." Patitucci's earthy "Labor Day" offers a heavy groove and ample room for each member to add his own funky statement. Of special note is Erskine's "Cats & Kittens," which reveals the most spirited performance of the set as the group digs into the drummer's greasy New Orleans groove. The dynamic "Modern Day Tuba" closes the evening on a stratospheric high note.