|Being a drummer, Whit Dickey uses generally the piano when he composes. The pieces included in “Sacred Ground” are exceptions – this time, he chose the voice as compositional tool. That circumstance lead him to a particular purpose: to reinforce the melodical complexion of his music. And notice: the music of a drummer. This is not new, of course. Max Roach is the most famous case of a percussionist who wanted to play melodically, but truth is many performers of this instrument aren’t satisfied with only dealing with pulse and texture, or even conceiving a piece from a harmonic point of view (after all, the piano is a confortable instrument for a drummer to score his ideas).
That change of perspective explains the refreshing approach of these tunes presented by Dickey as “distillations of melodic improvisation”. With this kind of program, he couldn’t find better frontline than the one formed by trumpeter Roy Campbell and alto saxophonist Rob Brown, two of the most renowned melodic trapezists in the present jazz scene. Both using their axes as extensions of the voice and both known for the narrativity of their “singing”. Speaking about changes of roles, the fourth element of this combo is a guitarrist that sometimes puts away his fretted six strings to play a double bass, Joe Morris. Here he is doing that job with all the delivery that you expect from a bassist. If you’re a Whit Dickey fan, you have here some different stuff that can surprise you, and if you’re a newcomer to his music you’ll know him at his best. Everybody wins.