by Rex Butters
“Dwight Trible is a preacher, turning any material into a song of praise. Trible taps into the tradition of assigning lyrics to existing jazz standards, aligning himself with Jon Hendricks and Eddie Jefferson. He stands firmly in the jazz singer’s domain of delivering a song true to its story, while composing variations on the tune as he goes.
On Living Water, he arranges, produces and writes lyrics to melodically and rhythmically challenging compositions. Take for instance, the opener, Coltrane’s “Wise One.” Given a portentous send with John Rangel’s deep chords, Trible’s elastic baritone maneuvers through the modulations on words he honed to fit the tune and the album’s main philosophical device. Rangel doubles bassist Trevor Ware’s line on “John Coltrane.” Joshua Spieglman play an exotic flute with Der Reklaw’s easy congas, brightened up with Trible’s Kalimba. Trible takes athletic improvisations with the melody before turning it over to Spieglman and ladder climbing Harold Land Jr. on piano. Ware’s fat bass brings Abdullah Ibrahim’s “Ishmael” into being, quickly joined on percussion by Adam Rudolph. Trible lays out some falsetto before singing a wordless chorus, joined by Charles Owens on soprano sax. Rudolph uses shakers and rattles for ambiance, while Rangel adds subtle color. Using Abbey Lincoln’s lyrics, Trible takes on Coltrane’s “Africa,” with a powerful production that includes poet Kamau Daaood. With bamboo flute, Spieglman ornaments Trible’s cry to the motherland.
Daaood recites his vision of hope called “The Living Waters,” his sonorous voice buoyed by the drummers. With a church bell as intro, Trible completes the set with an acapella liturgical plea for peace.
A lush tropical feel pervades Living Water, making it warmly sensual in its presentation of the sacred. As with any Trible project, the mind is refreshed, the heart expanded, the soul enlightened, and the ears licked.”
Los Angeles Times
October 29, 1999
by Bill Kohlhaase
When vocalist Dwight Trible first began ascending bandstands in Los Angeles after moving here from Cincinnati in 1978, he noticed someone often popped in briefly during performances: “It was Horace Tapscott. He always came around to check everyone out. He would listen to what I was doing and then just disappear.”
Eventually Tapscott, the pianist-composer-bandleader who died in February, came to Trible and said he had a song for him to do. That song, Tapscott’s “Mothership,” is the focus of Trible’s new independent-label CD “Horace.”
At first it looked as if the disc, all but one track recorded at the studio of KPFK-FM (90.7) before Tapscott died, might feature the pianist on that very song, “During the time we were recording, Horace was going through a critical period of his illness,” Trible says. “One Saturday I went over to see him and he was in bed, and I asked him if I could do “Mothership” for the album. He thought I was asking him to play and said, “Sure, I’ll be there.” He was gearing himself up for this record, but when the day came. he didn’t have the strength to do it.”
The recording features drummerBilly Higgins, saxophonist Charles Owens, percussionist Derf Reklaw, pianist John Rangel, bassist Trevor Ware and others on various cuts, including Cotrane’s “A Love Supreme,” Mal Waldon’s “Soul Eyes” and a collective improvization, “Return To The Ethers.” Poet Kamau Daaood recites his tribute to Tapscott. “Papa Lean Griot,” to which Trible adds lines from “(Sometimes I Feel Like) A Motherless Child.”
Trible says his style, one that carries an expansive sense of phrasing and a message of goodwill, has been influenced by the late Betty Carter and, surprisingly, folk singer Richie Havens. “Here’s [Havens] who doesn’t have much of a voice, who doesn’t play the guitar very well, but winds up generating a tremendous amount of feeling. For me, it was a life-changing experience seeing him perform live. I may not sing like him, but I want to get that level of emotion.”
Trible keeps the Tapscott fires burning, rehearsing the 25-voice choir that is part of Tapscott’s Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra every Monday in the in the late bandleader’s garage. “Before he died, Horace told me: ‘Keep the music going.’ and that’s what I’m doing.”
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2002
“Pharoah Sanders Quartet, With a Nod to John Coltrane”
by Don Heckman
Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders was an important participant in the heady, envelope-stretching jazz of the ‘60s. Closely associated with John Coltrane’s ensembles for the last few years of the legendary figure’s life, he interacted synergistically, influenced by Coltrane’s style while simultaneously contributing his own robust musical passions to the music’s turbulent currents.
On Tuesday night at Catalina’s Bar & Grill, Sanders opened his set with vivid recollections of those connections- first via an incantatory rendering of “Welcome” followed by an up-tempo romp through “Giant Steps.” Although these particular works were first heard before Sanders’ arrival in the Coltrane circle, his capacity to grasp their fullest creative implications was profound.