Passionate music driven by creativity and diversity is the main components that I discovered when listening to multi-instrumentalists /composer/producer Rick Waldron’s third recording titled “Endless Pursuit”. Waldron’s compositions enlists a sumptuous collection of musical styles that he’s participated in for the last 40 plus years, therefore it was inevitable that the production of “Endless Pursuit” would indeed take place in the year 2005.


The Players: Ken French ~ Drums, Gary Gibson ~ Percussion, Robert Puff ~ Saxophone, Greg Parman ~ Saxophones & Flute, Alexey Nikoleaev ~ Saxophone, Jake Bergevin ~ Trumpet, Doug Canning ~ Trumpet & Flugelhorn, Jayne Drummond ~ Oboe, Nel Krueger, Bev Dunton, Jen Dunton, Jill Waldron ~ Vocals and Rick Waldron ~ plays all acoustic & electric basses, acoustic & electric guitars and keyboards (electric & synthesizer).


Waldron and crew opens with a head bopper called “The Groove” the rhythm section stimulates the appetite a bit with some tasty hooks, in the meantime the horn players turns up the heat a few octaves. Saxophonist Jake Bergevin intervenes with a your face solo that draws you straight to the heart & soul of this groove.


Next, the group explores music on the mellow side with “Forgiveness One”; this song reminds me somewhat of an interlude arrangement featuring Waldron on the piano and acoustic guitar also Jane Drummond appears playing the oboe. Her solos are warm and inviting speaking softly with haunting & relaxing melodies. 


“Forgiveness Two” gradually moves up a level into a recognizable venue with a Metheny like melody, part two shifts gears with the rich textures of ghost vocals compiled by Nel Krueger, Bev Dunton, Jen Dunton, Jill Waldron. The highlight of track employee’s the skillful sax solos of Alexey Nikoleaev and percussionists Gary Gibson drops in to help articulate Waldron’s composition as if it was their own.


Waldron broadens his musical vocabulary with a swinging groove called “Night Cap” featuring trumpeter Doug Canning and saxophonist Alexey Nikoleaev, again his accomplished side-men provides a perfect blend of shades of colors that raises to the top on the jazzy tip.


The harmonic voice of familiarity returns in a New York Voices, Rare Silk, Manhattan Transfer state of mind with a tune titled “Starting Over” (the introduction) features vocals by Nel Krueger, Bev Dunton, Jen Dunton, and Jill Waldron. Rick’s engaging yet playful piano solo is refreshing, warm and sensitive.


The breezy “Starting Over” (phase 2) walks parallel to the footprints of contemporary jazz flugelhornist Chuck Mangione. This track features Doug Canning’s flawless flugelhorn solos. Rick adds his touch not only to the keys but, the accordion and trombone as well.  The band-mates serves up a delectable full course platter enlighten by the splendid background vocals of (Nel Krueger, Bev Dunton, Jen Dunton, Jill Waldron) that will without a doubt inspire the moment. 


Waldron’s passion for creating good music continues to boom with the bright and colorful “El Caballo (the horse)” featuring the talents of trumpeter Jake Bergevin, sax-man Greg Parman and multi-instrumentalists Rick Waldron plays the trombone this time around.


“Endless Pursuit” the title track opens with the pitter- patter of the snare drum … Waldron’s creativity spans even further with his choppy keyboard work and crisp background vocal gives another view of Waldron’s musical canvas. Soon, thereafter sax-man Greg Parman and trumpeter Jake Bergevin once again makes their solo contribution as talented sidemen. 


Rick Waldron’s admiration for variety in his music blossoms with “Mom’s Blues”, this catchy swinging groove calls Doug Canning’s trumpet skills to the session along with sax-man Robert Puff’s affinity to delivery timely solos.  


“After Hours” drops in at the 10th slot on “Endless Pursuit”. At the first glance the song appeared to be in a somewhat subdue state until Waldron’s intuitive ways brightens the moment by eloquently caressing the keys that rapidly connects to Canning’s heartfelt and spirited saxophone solo. 


Waldron checks in at this point working the electric keys on a bouncy track titled “Stinger” featuring the remarkable talents of percussionist Gary Gibson. 


“Road Waltz” is an exquisite piano waltz that is vibrant in texture featuring of course Rick Waldron magical fingers. Waldron’s piano solo glimmers with the thoughtful “I Never Told You This”, Waldron voice enunciates each keystroke with depth and clarity.


Waldron and gang concludes this episode on the up side with a cut called “Dionysus” featuring his stellar cast of talented musicians from the Pacific North West, US.


It amazes me that Rick Waldron has an uncanny ability to unselfishly incorporate his sideman as featured soloist throughout on this project, kudos to you for being so gracious. After listening to “Endless Pursuit”, it calls my attention to the diversity in music that I enjoyed in the early nineties particularly contemporaryjazz. Waldron serves up a satisfyingly diverse musical palette of music here called “Endless Pursuit”.  True, the wealth of diverse music that I’ve had the pleasure enjoy here might not be for everyone however; the endless pursuit for diversity in music is just the beginning for those that seek it, get it, grow with it and savor the moments of pursuing quality music!


  q       Listen too and purchase Waldron’s music here: