The End Of The Tunnel (Posi-Tone Records; 2011)
Julius Tolentino (sax)
Jared Gold (organ)
Quincy Davis (drums)
Getting praise from the great (and one of my favourites), Curtis Fuller, is one thing. Backing it up is another. David Gibson has been able to do that for quite some time. With five albums under his belt as leader, his latest, The End Of The Tunnel is yet another fine effort that solidifies his status as one of the most dynamic (along with Steve Davis) on the scene today.
Unlike Davis, Gibson tends to move back and forth through jazz, soul and R&B. I think this versatility gives Gibson alot room to experiment. On The End Of The Tunnel, Gibson utilizes the same quartet as his previous soul-jazz effort, A Little Somethin'. Both albums reflect a new direction for Gibson. His previous efforts, while still containing elements of funk, were grounded in the hard bop of his influences (Curtis Fuller and Slide Hampton). This time out the funk flies further as evident on the swirling "Wasabi" in which the quartet take rampage on the sound, creating a smooth and infectious dancefloor groove. Jared Gold's playing here has all the hallmarks of a Jimmy Smith or Jimmy McGriff session. The gospel/blues tinge of "Sunday Morning" where Gold and Gibson share interweave perfectly, giving the number a real Southern American quality to it.
Gibson is a dynamic player and the passion of his compositions can be felt further on ballad "A Place Of Our Own." While thematic in nature, it still manages to give the listener a feeling of introspection. Gibson continues the gospel element on the Jared Gold penned number "Preachin'" which has a real New Orleans vibe to it and travels lightly. This quartet have only been playing together for a few years but the chemistry over two albums is amazing. Gibson has created material which truly matches and challenges each member's talents. The End Of The Tunnel is bright, fresh and full revolving performances. A funky record based in some of the best soul-jazz of the 60s and 70s, but still presents an exciting twist for the listener. With The End Of The Tunnel, David Gibson has found an intoxicating formula and a smokin' quartet to deliver it.