Featuring ten killer Gertz originals as well as a bass-drum duet rendition of the ever famous John Coltrane tune, "Giant Steps," Red Handed is the second album by Gertz on the Double-Time Jazz label. It features John Abercrombie (guitar), Jerry Bergonzi (saxophone), Bruce Barth (piano), and Adam Nussbaum (drums).
Double-Time Jazz Records
Talk about musical ESP. These guys “see” as well as hear around corners. Lines fly “inside” and “out” and everywhere else. A large part of that has to do with Gertz’s tunes which, while appealing in their own right, also function to push the band into the ether of inspired weight-free improvisation.
- Chuck Berg, Jazz Times, 2000
For all the talent at his disposal when the quintet assembles, the credit must primarily go to Gertz, whose input (like all superior leaders’) is multifaceted. His writing, as always, is one key factor. Gertz simply has a knack for composing tunes with bold contours that set an improvising atmosphere guaranteed to stretch the soloists. He may often use familiar harmonic structures, as he does in a few instances here, but he always finds a harmonic or rhythmic adjustment that refreshes the changes and takes his new melodies into areas where they establish a presence of their own. Gertz’s slower, moody pieces are as well crafted as his fast, more complex creations and, regardless of tempo, each line possesses a clarity that encourages attentive and sympathetic embellishment from his partners.
- Bob Blumenthal