Album Review of
Mood Walk

Written by Joe Ross
May 21, 2020 - 12:10am EDT
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Bassist Fred Randolph is an extremely talented musician and composer whose skills also extend to ukulele (as a child in Honolulu), guitar (rock and jazz), and tenor sax. While working on his master’s degree in composition, the bass became his main instrument. “Mood Walk” is his fourth album, and it’s a great showcase for his impeccable skills as a composer and bassist. Playing with a huge tone, Randolph also demonstrates excellent timing, rhythmic pulse and improvisational creativity. He’s surrounded himself with some first-rate musicians who energize his music with trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor sax, flute, keyboards and drums. “On the Upside” opens with a swinging, earthy sound full of quick, harmonically intricate elements. “Unaware” incorporates the spontaneous feelings of an early free-jazz composition, and this is the one track that features guest Dillon Vado’s vibes. Other stimulating pieces are quite potent as they meld different jazz styles of rhythms and melodies. “Meadows,” “T-Bone Slide,” “Todd’s Idea” and “Mood Walk” are examples of how the composer builds his improvisation-based instrumental music with elements of funk, fusion, blues or Latin grooves. Randolph was inspired to write “Noveau Monde” when he heard a group from the Congo playing the Ndombolo rhythm. “Mood Walk” is an album of inspired, tastefully-rendered jazz from a musician with a remarkable depth of creative vision.   (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)