Review Courtesy AllAboutJazz.com


Steps Taken
Ted Hogarth | No Label

 

Chicago-based performer and jazz educator, Ted Hogarth, is adept at all the single-reed instruments, specializing in the baritone sax and bass clarinet, al la one of his famous predecessors, Harry Carney, who pioneered the use of the bass clarinet in an orchestral setting. Hogarth has regularly performed with a number of high-level jazz artists such as Charlie Haden, Willie Pickens, and Von Freeman. On this his first album as a leader he has taken a quartet into the studio to produce a play list of standard and jazz classics mixed with Hogarth originals resulting in an engaging 70 plus minutes of engrossing, intelligent execution of the art of jazz music performing. Not only is the playlist a good mix, but the playing is amply versatile to meet the challenge of the musical program. Hogarth takes a light, lyrical approach to both instruments, avoiding any heaviness especially in playing the baritone sax. Listen to his melodic, buoyant rhapsodizing with the big horn on "They Can't Take That Away from Me", where his principal playmate is Kevin Cole on piano. Hogarth's work on this tune resembles the cool Gerry Mulligan approach to the instrument. He also skillfully captures the haunting, lush timbre of the bass clarinet on several tunes, but none better than on "Ghost of a Chance" where he gets expert and sympathetic help from guitarist Neal Alger, who is active throughout the set. The lovely "Waltzing Through My Mind" stands out among a musically charming and absorbing set of originals. Most tracks lean toward the ballad side, often inventive and introspective, but always showing respect for melody. One of the cuts where matters liven up a little is on another original, "Rhythm Thang" recalling Thelonious Monk's tune with that similar title. Steps Taken is a fine opening CD for this talented instrumentalist/composer. It's a session that allows the listener plenty of opportunity to sit back and fully digest and enjoy what he/she is hearing. No frenetic fireworks need apply here. Hopefully, we'll be hearing more from him in the not too distant future.

~ Dave Nathan  

 

Track Listing: The Song Is You; Waltzing Through My Mind; Pure Imagination; Rhythm Thang; Laura; Steps Taken; Morning Glory; Ghost of a Chance; Hopeful Samba; Tenderly; Three in One; Harbinger; They Can't Take That Away from Me

Personnel: Ted Hogarth - Baritone Sax/Bass Clarinet; Neal Alger - Guitar; Tom Knific - Bass; Darren Scorza - Drums/Percussion; Kevin Cole - Piano

Misconception
Ted Hogarth Collective | Blujazz

 

By Edward Blanco

Multi-saxophonist Ted Hogarth's second outing, Misconception, is a charmer with an appealingly relaxing and soft side, though it has a splattering of the hard bop sound on several tracks. A veteran of the Chicago jazz scene, Hogarth's experience extends to playing regularly with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and, most notably, with trumpeter Rob Parton and his JazzTech Big Band. While his primary musical instrument of choice remains the baritone, he plays the rarely-heard C-melody saxophone here. Unfortunately, the liner notes do not reveal on which tracks, and only a keen ear can distinguish between the common tenor and the C-melody sound.

With the exception of “Second Laugh” and “So Far, Lofaro,” two very fine charts by drummer Darren Scorza, all the other compositions are Hogarth originals. The music is quite enjoyable, marked by several tasteful solos. As one might expect, Hogarth shines on all saxes, while the members of his collective provide sparkling individual performances. Jo Ann Daugherty sounds impressive on both piano and Fender Rhodes, especially on “The Dance.” Trumpeter Brian Schwab plays off the leader on the opening “Now” while the rhythm section, here consisting of bassist Bob Lovecchio, trombonist Andy Baker, and drummer Darren Scorza, maintains a tight cohesive sound.

Other notable scores are “Misconception,” “Aspiration,” “Children's Song” and the exciting finale, “Groovin,” a steamy piece of music with another collaboration between Hogarth and Schwab on the horns. There's no mystery here, and no misconceptions either: Hogarth crafts an album of expressive delights, using different saxophone voices to forge an unconventional and imaginative session of jazz that everyone can enjoy.

Visit Ted Hogarth on the web.

 

Track Listing: Now; The Dance; Second Laugh; Misconception; Even Keel; Aspirations; Children's Song; So Far, Lofaro; Groovin.

Personnel: Ted Hogarth: C-melody, tenor and baritone saxophone; Andy Baker: trombone; Jo Ann Daugherty: piano and Fender Rhodes; Bob Lovecchio: bass; Brian Schwab: trumpet and flugelhorn; Darren Scorza: drums.

TED HOGARTH COLLECTIVE
Misconception (Wide Sound)


Ted Hogarth is a Chicago-based saxophonist and clarinetist who plays with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (founded by Bill Russo) and Rob Parton’s JazzTech Big Band and holds a master’s degree in jazz composition. His Ted Hogarth Collective is a sextet that includes a trumpet and trombone in the front line. On its first album, Misconception, where Hogarth plays tenor, C-Melody and baritone saxophones, the Collective performs seven Hogarth originals and two by drummer Darren Scorza. The thoughtful, well-constructed compositions express a variety of moods, from the hard-bop swinger “Aspirations” to the simple “Children’s Song” to the funky “Groovin’,” which is anchored by a New Orleans second-line parade beat. Polished, professional solos are selectively distributed throughout the recording, with not everyone improvising on every tune.

On baritone, his main instrument, Hogarth gets a smooth tone and typically plays flowing, melodic solos. But he’s at his most exciting on tenor, as is especially evident in his duet with drummer Scorza on “Groovin’.” Indeed, the general ambiance of the recording is one of relative reserve, in spite of a few such incendiary spots, which also include some passionate work by pianist Jo Ann Daugherty.

-David Franklin, Jazz Times, June 2006

Featured Artist: Ted Hogarth Collective

CD Title: Misconception

Year: Reissued in 2006 - Originally Released in 2004

Record Label: Blujazz

Musicians: Ted Hogarth (C melody, tenor and baritone saxophone), Andy Baker (trombone), Jo Ann Daugherty (piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano), Bob Lovecchio (bass), Brian Schwab (trumpet, flugelhorn), Darren Scorza (drums)

Review: This is the sophomore release from Ted Hogarth, but the debut for the Ted Hogarth Collective, his new ensemble format. A long-time member of the powerful Chicago Jazz Ensemble, now under the artistic direction of Jon Faddis after the passing of founder Bill Russo, Hogarth's first album as a leader was Steps Taken in 2000. Now, Misconception follows with a very listenable mix of original compositions ranging from conventional ensemble be-bop ("Aspirations") to atmospheric ballads ("Second Laugh," "Children's Song") to a jazz march ("Groovin'") that hints of a stroll down Bourbon Street in 'Nawlins before Katrina rained on the parade. The other tunes remind me of smoky club jazz, you know, the music you hear in small places where people come to really listen, and you see lots of them with their eyes closed, smiling and swaying while they focus on that really cool riff the bass player has going. Not Fragile, he certainly fills his horns with plenty of air, but he doesn't push the limits much. You're not going to hear any honking or barking here. His solos are easy on the ear, but I think they lack a little momentum, not building to enough of a peak before relaxing again. This is a small complaint. Hogarth certainly has chops, he uses all three horns here - baritone, tenor, and C-melody -, although you may be hard-pressed as I was to tell the difference between the latter two.


Tracks: Now, The Dance, Second Laugh, Misconception, Even Keel, Aspirations, Children's Song, So Far Lofaro

Record Label Website: http://www.blujazz.com
Artist's Website: http://www.tedhogarth.com
Reviewed by: Brian S. Lunde