Michael Carvin, prostate ambulance a veteran of the 1970s jazz scene who is currently 69, is an adventurous drummer whose roots are in hard bop. The same can be said for his current quartet, a unit featuring three young talents in tenor-saxophonist Keith Loftis, pianist Yayoi Ikawa and bassist Jansen Cinco.
Flash Forward features the quartet playing eight standards which range from well-known songs (such as one of the better versions of “So What,” an explosive rendition of “A Night In Tunisia” and a sly arrangement of “Autumn Leaves”) to such obscurities as Horace Silver’s “Sayonara Blues” and Bobby Hutcherson’s “Same Shame.” The latter is a showcase for the adventurous playing of pianist Ikawa. While she, Cinco and Carvin (who takes a few extended improvisations) all have their places to shine, tenor-saxophonist Keith Loftis often takes solo honors. On the more high-powered performances such as “In Walked Bud,” his passionate playing is worthy of Billy Harper and Carlos Garnett. During the more soulful numbers, he is closer to Stanley Turrentine while displaying his own musical personality.
Flash Forward is highly recommended to fans of modern hard bop. It is one of Michael Carvin’s most rewarding sets as a leader and it is available from www.motema.com.