Catalog #: SP1034
Artist: System 6
Release: 2020, Oct 2
- Benn Clatworthy - saxophones, clarinets, flutes
- Joey Sellers - trombone
- Ron Stout - trumpet
- Bryan Velasco - piano
- Bruce Lett - bass
- Yayo Morales - drums & percussion
Track 01 :: The Decider :: Benn Clatworthy :: 8:45
Track 02 :: How They Talk :: Benn Clatworthy :: 8:13
Track 03 :: Terry Briggs :: Benn Clatworthy :: 3:27
Track 04 :: Pelican Plus One :: Benn Clatworthy :: 6:05
Track 05 :: Two Little Brothers :: Yayo Morales :: 6:43
Track 06 :: Bennie's Lament :: Benn Clatworthy :: 6:21
Track 07 :: No Collusion :: Benn Clatworthy :: 2:56
Track 08 :: Good Grape :: Joey Sellers :: 7:24
Track 09 :: Sign of the Times :: Benn Clatworthy :: 5:21
Track 10 :: In Strayhorn's Bag :: Benn Clatworthy :: 4:14
Track 11 :: The Pursuit :: Benn Clatworthy :: 6:54
SYSTEM 6/Bennie's Lament: The vet Brit sax man is full of surprises here. Just when you think him and his pals are going atonal, they aren't. Just when you think this is headed into daddio territory, it isn't. A thrill ride full of twists and turns, when you've been at it for over 40 years and are still around, it's a given you know your stuff. A true muso, he fearlessly pushes any envelop that gets in his way and the result is a real delight for the real jazzbo. Wonderfully wild stuff.
Bebop Spoken Here
I remember well the evening when Clatworthy appeared at the Globe in one of the Jazz Coop's earlier promotions - November, 2014 - and I was impressed. Likewise, in June this year, when he released a quartet album - The Pursuit. That too did nothing to lesson my enthusiasm for the London born, Los Angeles based, reedsman. And now, here he is again with his sextet - System 6.
Consisting of six of Southern California's finest instrumentalists, Bennie's Lament not only showcases the leader's prowess on his various instruments but also brings his compositional skills to the fore (he composed 9 of the 11 tracks with Morales and Sellers providing the other 2).
It's a gem ranging from the emotional, almost melancholic, Terry Briggs (who was Terry Briggs?) to the frantic free for all that is How They Talk. Most of the others fall somewhere in between. Morales' contribution, Two Little Brothers, not surprisingly features himself although not before a blistering tenor solo and some atonal polyphony from the horns in the build up.
More paint-stripping tenor on the title track tempered by some comparatively restrained, although no less exciting, piano from Velasco.
No Collusion is relatively short at just under 3 minutes but it's long enough for meaningful solos by Sellers and Lett. It brought Horace Silver to my mind. Don't ask me why - it just did!
Paradoxically, Sellers' own composition Good Grape, at 9:42 mins, is the longest track. Needless to say all are well featured.
Sign of the Times is a straight ahead, hard bop influenced, swinger that morphs into some freer directions - Mingus Lives!
In Strayhorn's Bag is self explanatory. Think Ellington, think Sweet Pea, Passion Flower and you're in the ball park.
The Pursuit is reprised from the earlier album and re-scored for sextet. Clatworthy, on tenor, Velasco and Lett shine.
If you've spent the past 6 years kicking yourself for not being at the Globe on that memorable evening then this is your chance to make amends!
- Lance Liddle