Holland/Rubalcaba/Potter/Harland: The Monterey Quartet: Live At The 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF Records 0888072312449)
Remember that great tenor led quartet concert from 1964, immortalised on the album Forest Flower? The band was the Charles Lloyd Quartet and the festival was in Monterey. In 2007 the quartet is an all-star one with Dave Holland on bass, Gonzalo Rubalcaba on piano, Chris Potter on tenor and Eric Harland on drums. And while it might not achieve the rock-crowd-friendly icon status Forest Flower achieved, this disc is as jam-packed with great jazz.

Just listen to Potter’s solo at the close of Eric Harland’s tune Treachery, the opening number here. It’s the tenor man in fiery form indeed, and the band really cooking behind him. For these few minutes alone, and the resulting standing hairs on the back of the neck, this disc is worth the asking price.

But there is more, much more. All the tunes are originals and all are contributed by the band. Potter’s Minotaur begins with an exemplary solo from Harland, and settles into a strangely accented piece, a strong Holland riff and more exciting saxophone playing.

Rubalcaba, for all his fireworks playing, is also a master of the subtly harmonised ballad, and Otra Mirada is  just such a piece, the composer contributing a precisely articulated and searching solo; Holland’s Step To It shows that dancing groove he brings to so many of his compositions, and the bass and drums interaction is just fab.

Harland’s Maiden is plain gorgeous, while Rubalcaba’s 50 is perhaps the set’s hotspot.

It’s easy to make a connection between this band and another Miles Davis group veteran’s – the Wayne Shorter Quartet. Both contain a Latin pianist, and both include musical princes alongside the kings. If this band isn’t quite a match for the Shorter band, it might be down to the fact that it hasn’t yet built up that kind of time on the road. Let’s hope it does.