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Jazz in the Afternoon Review: Eric Wyatt / The Golden Rule/Whaling City Sound

Dec 17, 2019

Eric Wyatt's "The Golden Rule: For Sonny" is an elegant recording released in 2019 by a saxophonist who Sonny Rollins regards as his godson. Wyatt, whose father was a close friend of Rollins, presents an elegant, soulful recording in tribute to the tenor saxophone titan. It's Eric Wyatt's sixth release as a leader. His easy mastery of the reeds and professional leadership of an all-star band is in evidence on this compelling disc.

Highlights of the session are many. The disc starts off with "The Golden Rule", setting the tone for this richly satisfying date.  A heartfelt performance of "What the World Needs Now" renders the song as vital as when it was originally a radio megahit in the 1960s.​
Other highlights of this impressive CD include "Bud Powell" which is a delightful rendition of the Chick Corea original. The song features Eric's fine saxophone artiststry as well as strong statements by the entire horn and rythmn section. ​

This recording also remembers, via liner notes, a rising young saxophonist, Arthur Rhames, who died too soon after displaying immense promise. ​

A number of Rollins originals are presented on this tribute including "Grand Street" and "Azalea".  A festive reading of "Don't Stop The Carnival" is also presented which will please fans of Sonny Rollins.​ This excellent date closes with a fiery take on "The Bridge",  a tune penned by Sonny Rollins and performed by here by his godson, Eric Wyatt. ​

This is a first rate jazz album in every sense. ​​​
​Track Listing: The Golden Rule; What The World Needs Now; Grand Street; If Ever I Would Leave You; Bud Powell; Don't Stop the Carnival; After The Morning; Best Wishes; In The Spirit of Arthur; Nubia; Azalea; The Bridge​​.

The lineup:​​
Eric Wyatt: tenor saxophone, bells, conga, flute, percussion, vocals; JD Allen: tenor saxophone; Clifton Anderson:trombone; Giveton Gelin: trumpet; Sullvan Fortner:piano; Benito Gonzalez:piano; Anthony Wonsey:piano; Russell Malone:guitar; Tyler Mitchell:bass; Eric Wheeler:bass; Chris Beck:drums; Willie Jones III:drums; Charles Goold:drums​. Guest appearances by tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen on the Rollins classic "The Bridge," and guitarist Russell Malone on "If Ever" and "Bud Powell".​