Waiting for the Rain
When a trombone talks, people listen. Waiting for the Rain, Rick Faulkner's new release on the Laughing Buddha Label, reaches out and grabs the listener in a hearty, musical bear hug. It is earthy music, full and strong, like the sound of the trombone. Rick's compositions, his musicianship, and the top notch band he assembled for this recording, reveal music of breadth and scope, engaging the listener without assaulting him. Rick's wonderful arrangements and his musicality are a treat for both listener and musician alike. Perhaps this is why his talents have been utilized by such jazz greats as Max Roach, Michael Brecker, John Scofield, The Charli Persip Big Band, Orlando Marin and John D'Earth, to name but a few. Rick is joined on this recording by some extraordinary musicians: Enja recording artist Marty Ehrlich on alto sax, baritonist/flutist Patience Higgins, pianist Carey Brown, Dan Friedman on drums, percussionist Kahlil Bell, and Omar Avital on bass. Rick's years with the legendary Ska band, The Toasters, his work with Ska Shah, and his stint with Haitian superstars Tabou Combo have prepared him well for this fine debut solo album. His co-founding in 1994 of the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, 'the new heavyweight Champeen of the Ska ring' according to Beat magazine, was the first indication that he was beginning to pull his myriad influences and abilities together into a cohesive sound. Although there is little evidence of ska on this record, there are plenty of fat horn arrangements and driving, punchy rhythms. The music is warm and honest with moments of intimacy and grace that one seldom finds in this age of jazz technicians and 'light' jazz. Although his musicianship and skill on his instrument place him among the best young horn players of the 90's, Rick's music never becomes indulgent. He doesn't use his compositions merely as vehicles for displaying virtousity. These are strong, melodic and complete works of music, and by themselves a satisfying musical experience, without any musical excess. While it clearly is jazz, the music is somehow infused with the sensibility of traditional forms culled from such diverse sources as the Caribbean, New Orleans, and Africa. This is one album that really puts it all together. Deep grooves, hot horns, exceptional musicianship, and abundant creativity and freedom within the ever widening universe of jazz. This is a record through which you can really feel the person behind the music. Someone you can sit down on the back porch with, spin a few tales, play some music, and while away a Sunday afternoon, Waiting for the Rain.