Monday, August 24, 2009



I promised Terri Hinte, the publicist who handled getting your album to the various media outlets, I’d listen to your new album “Involved” after receiving it months after the official released date. I try to review albums within days of their release dates. However, sometime things don’t happen as I plan. Anyway, I liked your album, and I think you’re a solid young drummer. I heard bits and pieces of the late great Max Roach in your playing. Did Roach influence you? ?

It’s obvious you invested many man-hours listening to the great jazz drummers. Although “Involved” is your album and you had the right to behave in any manner you deemed fit you opted to be an accompanist instead of a taskmaster. You gave the spotlight to your band-mates. I could count the number of solos you took on one hand. I want to commend you for being a selfless leader.

However, Kobie, I have a few issues about the overall feel of the album that I want to bring to your attention. I felt as if the album did not have a defined destination or theme, and you couldn’t decide what kind of jazz album you wanted to make.

In spots, “Involved” felt like a down home acoustic recording. There was times when the it felt too commercial. The album came across as if you wanted to please everybody. "involved"could have been nearly flawless if you had done some editing and pruning here and there.

I must note the album’s shortcomings weren't enough of a distraction for me to dismiss the album. There was more impressive playing than mishaps. For example, saxophonists Geof Bradfield and Jarrard Harris were strong. As they soloed, I thought about how swinger era saxophonists such as Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges sound could fill up a river.

As for your playing, you could've gone hog-wild with meaning and protracted solos,and behaving as if you had something to prove, but you are definitely to mature and refined a drummer and bandleader for such foolishness.You did not make a flawless album,which I am sure you're capable of, but you did make a listenable one.
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