Tenderlonious - You Know I Care

Tenderlonious - You Know I Care

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Tenderlonious enters fresh album territory with his latest offering entitled, ‘You Know I Care’. Having released several solo projects, numerous collaborations and a series of LP’s, EP’s and singles with his band Ruby Rushton that centred on original compositions, he wanted to take a moment to focus his energy on exploring the classic jazz material that has inspired him over the years.

Players like Jackie McLean, Duke Pearson, Clifford Jordan and Wayne Shorter have all played significant roles in Tenderlonious’ life and provide a constant source of inspiration for his development as a musician and composer. This latest release is a tribute to those musicians and for this reason is a landmark album; ensuring that a new generation of jazz listeners are reminded of some of the most significant contributors, and in some cases unsung heroes, to this ever-evolving genre.

The first track, ‘On The Nile’, sets the tone for the LP. It’s a bold opener and immediately catches the listener’s ear with its distinctly Middle Eastern theme. The quartet maintains a full, grandiose sound from start to finish, with gutsy solos from alto saxophone and piano, that build to a climatic solo from the band’s powerhouse drummer, Tim Carnegie.

‘Maimoun’ has a smoother, west coast feel to it - cool and collected. A simple, yet evocative melody weaves on top of a steady 4/4 groove, whilst virtuosic bassist Pete Martin underpins the whole arrangement with his incomparable natural groove.

‘Infant Eyes’ is performed as a flute and piano duet, paying tribute to the late Wayne Shorter. The performance is free and moving, allowing this beautiful composition to lay bare its intricacies and vulnerability.

‘Poor Eric’ is a haunting ballad dedicated to the memory of the late Eric Dolphy. A brooding piano and melancholic saxophone melody set the mood as brushed drums and a deep bass join softly to create a dream-like dirge, leading into a raw and emotive solo from Tenderlonious.

‘John Coltrane’ is the perfect homage to the master saxophonist. Originally recorded by Clifford Jordan, and covered many times since, this version holds true to its original conception and intended purpose – a tribute to one of the greatest saxophonists that ever lived!

‘You Know I Care’ is one of the most iconic jazz ballads of the 1960’s. Tenderlonious’ husky alto flute perfectly encapsulates the mood, whilst bass and drums hold steady leading to a delicate and playful solo from talented pianist Hamish Balfour.

This long player clearly follows in the footsteps of Tenderlonious’ spiritual jazz hero’s, paying particular attention to the original performers of these six masterpieces - Jackie McLean, Clifford Jordan, Wayne Shorter and Duke Pearson. This is also the first time that Tenderlonious has recorded on alto saxophone, a more recent love affair for this talented multi-instrumentalist, and the first of many I hope.

There is something for everyone on this album, from brooding ballads to full-steam ahead modal delights – and an opportunity to enjoy a fresh take on these timeless compositions.