"The saxophonist dices this disc with an array of aggressive solos driving the music in a boppish fashion. Unique arrangements of such standards as 'Old Folks,' Van Heusen's 'Like Someone In Love' and Wayne Shorter's 'United' provide fresh new approaches to these old tunes . . . All you really need is one listen to Energy Fields to feel the heat from one very energetic session of jazz as saxophonist Ralph Lalama and his quartet deliver the electricity that will turn you on and keep you charged up till the end. One excellent recording that is highly recommended." - Edward Blanco ejazznews.com
"Lalama's majestic tone in the superb arrangements of "Like Someone in Love" and the easygoing "Indian Summer" recall Dexter Gordon at the peak of his powers." - Ken Dryden, allmusic.com
"This is a tight knit group that plays jazz with no attempt to sway opinions with deliberate off beat sounds that only impress the untrained ear . . . [Lalama's] ideation is as hip as it gets and the tone is superb. It all flows magically . . . 5 Stars." - John Gilbert, ejazznews.com
"Ralph Lalama presents the full picture of a musician, with a gorgeous tone on ballads and the strength and sensibility to swing the band hard when he wants to. His composition ['Nonchalant'] is one of the most compelling tunes on Energy Fields and adds just enough of a completely fresh sound to balance the largely traditional selection of tunes. The rhythm section is strong and the tunes are well chosen and well played. This type of contemporary approach to traditional jazz is, in my opinion, just what the jazz world needs." - Dave Miele, Jazz Improv NY
"An exciting band with a firm melodic grasp, Ralph Lalama's quartet pours over musical themes with emphasis, as accents fall into place with angular motion and improvised forays push forcefully. The leader's suave tenor, John Hart's sultry guitar, Rick Petrone's driving acoustic bass and drummer Joe Corsello's rhythmic thunder combine gracefully to shape each tone poem with a lyrical message. " - Jim Santella, All About Jazz
"Lalama's 'Energy Fields' (Mighty Quinn) [is] a strong blowing session . . . Lalama's big masculine sound -- in the tradition of tenor men such as Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Sal Nistico -- is balanced against the lighter touch of the rhythm section . . . He swings hard and displays a wealth of ideas . . . [John] Hart plays the thoughtful musical architect in contrast to Lalama's robust, head-on approach throughout the album. [Rick] Petrone and [Joe] Corsello are ever-tasteful and swinging." - Owen Cordle, Jazz Critic
"What's also great is the recording itself, done by Richard Corsello and produced by Jerry Roche. Corsello captures these guys very well, it's not too thin and it's obvious they're all in the same room together, so there's that added interaction that is essential to any jazz recording. Fans of Lovano, Charlie Mariano, and Phil Woods, along with hard bop enthusiasts, need this in their collection." - The Run-Off Groove, blog
"Ralph Lalama is one of those guys who'd fit that old Downbeat category deserving of wider recognition. Maybe you should make his acquaintance." - George Fendel, "Fresh Tracks" Jazzscene
"Lalama is a grand, modern-minded storyteller who knows bebop, and other stuff, too. He has his own sound, husky with a bit of sparkle, going from fat, low-end belches to whispery high tones.
His melodies are authoritative and warmly melodic, his time drummer-sure. In other words, a first-class jazz soloist." - Zan Stewart, Down Beat"
Ralph Lalama is a world-class tenor saxophonist who has found his fame on the New York jazz scene and around the globe through his association with such luminary bands as the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra - with whom he's played since 1983), the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and the Joe Lovano Nonet.
Though critics and fans have often compared his sound to the likes of Sonny Rollins and Hank Mobley, Ralph has evolved his voice into an unmistakable one all his own; and he can always be counted on to get down to the heart of the musical matter. Included in his busy recording career are five CDs as a leader for the Criss Cross jazz label; one of them ("Circle Line") earned him four-and-a-half stars from DownBeat.
Energy Fields CD Review:
"This Blue Note sounding tenorist has been a fixture in the Village Vanguard Orchestra for years, yet he hasn't put out a solo disc in almost a decade. Too bad, as this one's a delight. Leading a pianoless quartet is going to get immediate comparison's to Sonny Rollins' classic encounter with Jim Hall back in the 60s, but Lalama leaves the ring standing on this well crafted and conceived disc of Post Bop deluxe. His macho-sized tone is evident on Woody Shaw's energetic "The Moontrane", and he wrangles around John Hart's wiry guitar with aplomb. The duo lines of guitar and sax are exquisitely tied together on Charlie Parker's obscure "Buzzy", which features fast paced yet coherent soloing by the front line. The fresh and funky treatment of "Old Folks" is like a breath of fresh air along Lake Superior, as Hart lays out some cookin' Benson-imbibed licks. Lalama's horn is warm and lazy on ballads like his own "Nonchalant" and the nocturnal and soothing "Blackberry Winter" tunes which also highlight the sensitive support by Joe Corsello/dr and Rick Petrone/b. It's a tough trick to pull off, but this tenorist more than compensates for the lack of piano with a room filling sound. You'll love this guy!"
- George W. Harris, http://www.jazzweekly.com/
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