JazzTimes - 3/93, p.59
"...Fortunately, saxophonists Javon Jackson, Joshua Redman and trumpeter Nicholas Payton, are shadowed, butressed and blessed with the astonishing play of bassist George Mraz and the still extraordinary drumming of the leader..."
Musician - 1/93, p.92
"...provides some of the most naturally emphatic swing put on record this year..."
Village Voice (11/3/92, p.89) - "...[a] winner..." - Rating: A-
Personnel: Elvin Jones (drums); Javon Jackson, Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone); Nicolas Payton (trumpet); George Mraz (bass).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey from April 20-21, 1992.
Despite his stature in both the percussion and jazz communities as one of the most important drum-set innovators in history, Elvin Jones rarely gets credit for The Jazz Machine, his long-lived, always swinging group. On 1992's YOUNGBLOOD, the master kit player teams up with the young lions (or "youngbloods") of the '90s, including tenor saxophonists Javon Jackson and Joshua Redman and trumpet player Nicholas Payton. Together with bassist George Mraz, the Machine minces away once again.
These young jazz greats fit in superbly with the elder Jones, nearly 65 when this album was recorded. Indeed, Jones plays with a youthful spirit on YOUNGBLOOD, while Jackson, Redman, and Payton all play with the maturity of jazz veterans. All involved provide memorable solos. Jones' drums are especially riveting throughout. His contrapuntal and harmonic sense for the instrument proves that drums have the ability-even if more limited than pitched instruments-to develop themes and create complex musical statements beyond the boundaries of rhythm. Highlights include the knotty "Strange" and the solo drum composition "Ding-A-Ling-A-Ling."