D.B. Shrier Quartet

REVIEW: D.B. Shrier & The D.B. Shrier Quartet “Emerges”


D.B. Shrier & The D.B. Shrier Quartet – Emerges

Originally recorded at Community College in Philadelphia (1967) for Alfa Records & produced by Richard Price this mono 10-cut CD collection (5 live & 5 bonus) provides listeners with the only recorded document by David B. Shrier (d. 2017). The vinyl LP contains only the original 5 tracks.

Shrier born & raised in the Boston suburb of Newton, MA never found major fame in jazz circles. Today, after years of digital recordings made rare sessions in archives available, CDs by major artists released only in Europe or Japan found their way to US record stores, the vinyl analog masters of long out-of-print sessions remastered, re-released & reissued found their way to jazz bins. And they still find tracks today that haven’t been available in decades.


The D.B. Shrier Quartet Emerges (Drops Feb 24-Omnivore/Sonya Shrier Estate) corrects this oversight on behalf of Mr. Shrier & his superb quartet. The musicians on the first 5 cuts are Shrier (tenor sax), Mike Michaels (drums), Tyrone Brown (bass) & William “Bones” Roye (drums).

Originally, the Alfa LP had only 5 tunes. On this CD reissue, 5 additional rare pieces are added. Discovered from tapes found by the new owner of D.B.’s house in the basement, in boxes. The amazing “Opus #3,” a concert recording, “Indiana,” with Chick Webb-type energetic drum fills by Allan Elgart, a Charlie Parker tune “Steeplechase,” recorded at a party. David’s up-tempo original “Helene,” & “Just You Just Me.” Additional musicians on the bonus’ — Ron Brown (piano), Bob Pitcoff & Phil Morrison (bass) with Allan & Bill Elgart (drums).

It’s a rewarding experience when music can be restored/re-mastered from original analog tapes to sound this good. Shrier respected John Coltrane but any Coltrane influence may not be immediately evident in Dave’s blowing. There’s a difference in sound, tonality & you could say approach.

It’s easy to dismiss this as a primitive recording from the early 60s, but the music is indeed captured wonderfully. “Blue Lights,” the opener has a fine walking bass solo. A theme in 8/4 time “East” (a Tyrone Brown tune) is exciting. A melody based on Indian scales “Raveesh,” is filled with persistent energy decorated by piano & percussion. Different, creative & progressive.


Melodic notes highlight “These Foolish Things,” recorded in a Philly studio with inventive sax improvising, coupled with a vivid piano solo & curious bass line. The Miles Davis classic “All Blues,” comes on pristinely with more excellent playing. A little more technical but Shrier plays it cool with creative enthusiasm.

Amazing Mr. Shrier & the band was never more widely acknowledged. The 3-panel CD has original liner notes & an essay by producer Alan Sukoenig. Highlights – “Blue Lights,” “East,” “Raveesh,” “These Foolish Things,” & “All Blues.”

Omnivore compilation produced by Alan Sukoenig & Cheryl Pawelski. CD @ https://omnivorerecordings.com/shop/emerges/

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