Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Sense of Direction by Walt Dickerson

A Sense of Direction, Walt Dickerson's second album as a leader, was recorded just two months after his debut, and it opened up a side of his playing not so much in evidence before. Having firmly set out his modernist credentials with the moody atmosphere of the debut, Dickerson seems to feel more inclined to lighten up. Three of the eight tracks are standards (in contrast to the all-Dickerson debut), which help bring out more of the lyricism he's capable of. But even his originals are generally brighter and more immediate, and help showcase not just his progressive thinking, but also his mastery of the vibes tradition before him. One exception is the melancholy "Ode to Boy," a tribute to Dickerson's brother who drowned while serving in the Navy. But for the most part, A Sense of Direction finds Dickerson at his most extroverted. He's far more likely to show off his prodigious technique in flashy, tinkling runs (which make the up-tempo "Togetherness" a highlight), and he lends a cool romanticism to the ballad numbers. Pianist Austin Crowe contributes some warm solos of his own, and the new bass-and-drums team of Edgar Bateman and Eustis Guillemet, Jr. is solid in support. If it's a shade less challenging and inventive than This Is Walt Dickerson !, A Sense of Direction compensates by making Dickerson's innovations more accessible and inviting.
Steve Huey

Source :

Walt Dickerson
A Sense of Direction


1 Sense of Direction (Dickerson) 6:00
2 Ode to Boy (Dickerson) 5:30
3 Togetherness (Dickerson) 3:00
4 What's New ? (Burke, Haggart) 4:44
5 Good Earth (Dickerson) 3:33
6 Why (Dickerson) 4:48
7 You Go to My Head (Coots, Gillespie) 8:19
8 If I Should Lose You (Rainger, Robin) 5:00

Walt Dickerson - vb
Austin Crowe - p
Edgar Bateman - b
Eustis Guillemet, JR. - dr

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; May 5, 1961


grumpy said...

Thanks Melanchthon, for a welcome upgrade.

Orbyt said...

Thank you Mel! As much as I love WD, it's Austin Crowe that makes these two essential. Any one have any biographical info on Crowe - he's only listed four times in Bruyninckx, all with Walt Dickerson.

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you very much Mel! Great to see these Walt Dickerson posts (and to get them of course).

Otis Foster said...

Orbyt - check out

Mel, thanks for a sound upgrade for a wonderful band.

Orbyt said...

@Otis, thank you. Fascinating interview!

ita diegues said...

Thank you one more time.

Melanchthon said...

Foth said...

Thanks for the re-post Mel. Missed this the first time around.