Steve Holtje (Senior writer) 2001
"Baikida Carroll: Flying by Wire"
Carroll Marionettes On A High Wire
Trumpeter Baikida Carroll has gone remarkably under-recorded
as a leader, considering both the level of his talent (as
both player and composer) and the respect in which he is held
by a wide variety of musicians. ( Carroll has worked with
everyone from Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake to Nana Vasconcelos,
Albert King, and Dr. John.) Fortunately, the enterprising
Brooklyn, NY jazz label OmniTone has stepped into the breach
with this, Carroll's first album since 1994's Door of the
from bassist Michael Formanek, the lineup here is the same
as Carroll's previous release, with tenor saxophonist Erica
Lindsay, pianist Adegoke Steve Colson and drummer Pheeroan
akLaff„ All of whom, on the evidence of this disc, are as
versatile as the leader. At times, the veteran Colson nearly
steals the show Ć not with flash, but with depth and imagination.
"Carroll is equally comfortable "inside" as "outside." The
title track is an eight-minute excursion into avant-garde
realms, while the track that succeeds it, "Miss Julie", is
a tender ballad, with mute ,on which his tone recalls that
of Miles Davis. At other points, the styles of Don Cherry
(to whom " Griot's Last Dance" is dedicated) and Woody Shaw
are touched on, but Carroll is no stylistic chameleon, and
always maintains a strong identity of his own. The same is
true of his composing on this all-originals set, which even
ranges as far afield as the short "Cab" Ć a joyous two-beat
visit to the days of early jazz, complete with Colson's witty,
spare take on stride piano.
crafted and brimming over with verve and unselfconscious originality,
this new release is a delight from start to finish, and a
welcome spotlighting of a too-often overlooked talent."
-Steve Holtje, CD Now