Gary Lee Rollins - Reviews

Gary Lee Rollins - music arranger “Processional is smooth, easy, professional sounding jazz/fusion. Fred Taylor and Inquest’s new CD shows off the musicianship of this ensemble’s four members with a combination of original works by drummer, arranger and composer, Fred Taylor and guitarist Gary Rollins, with new arrangements of pieces by John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and Ralph Towner. The result is generally mellow, spacey, occasionally funky, and sometimes very beautiful and a little exciting. The most interesting track “Dude Heavers” - a Taylor original- was described by recording engineer, Howard Mostrom, as Frank Zappa meets James Brown. I don’t know about that, but it is a curious and entertaining amalgam of sounds. “Bela’s Bounce,” also by Taylor, is a fine tune. I really enjoyed Gary Rollins guitar playing on this piece as well as James Clark’s bass playing and Craig Lawrence’s clarinet solo. “Inquest,” the Gary Rollins composition, captures the original style of the group that first formed as a trio 1976. But “Icarus,” is my favorite track. Featuring solos by Gary Rollins on guitar, Craig Lawrence on woodwinds and James Clark on bass, this light and lovely Ralph Towner composition is very prettily played.”
- by Nancy Vivolo - Victory Music Review May 2007

Gary Lee Rollins - studio musician
“Drummer Fred Taylor and guitarist Gary Rollins started their collaboration in the 1970s when they formed Inquest as a trio. Some 25 years later, they reformed the group as a jazz fusion quartet. Their new album, Processional, features four original compositions and four covers of compositions by leading jazz composers - John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Ralph Towner - who have been associated with fusion at some points in their careers. The title track, "Processional", composed by Fred Taylor features the lyrical soprano sax of Craig Lawrence, who takes center stage for an extended solo. This piece is noteworthy for its driving rhythm in 7/4 time. Guitarist Rollins follows Lawrence with a spirited solo. James Clark also gets to shine here on the electric bass. Lawrence switches to tenor sax for a magnificent rendition of "Fall", a beautiful ballad composed by Wayne Shorter. He solos with aplomb, thoughtfully exploring the sound of his instrument. He gently and patiently explores the fabric of the song, soloing by employing an abundance of long tones - to let the ear savor it all. By contrast, Rollins' solo, which follows, is a bit more exploratory - more notes, freer rhythms, employment of some dissonance. The group changes color once more, as Lawrence moves over to clarinet on Ralph Towner's "Icarus". Lawrence breathes fresh spirit into this mesmerizing melody. James Clark takes the spotlight for the first solo - and shows off his beautiful round sound, and colorful lines. Lawrence follows with a dancing solo on clarinet. There is nothing to criticize musically about the committed creative efforts of these experienced players. A non-musical concern is worth noting. Record marketers have known for years just how important it is to make sure that the first track is one that will immediately grab the listener's attention. There are a lot of really good things about 'Processional'. Had the group decided to place "Windows" by Chick Corea as the first track rather than the second track, it would have more quickly magnetized this listener's attention. But, as the reviewer I was planning to listen to the whole album anyway. It's a good idea to have a first track to ensure the average listener will want to continue as well. The rendition of "Windows" is driving and Rollins turns in a well-constructed guitar solo. The song is also more lyrical and recognizable among jazz fans than what they chose as the first track, "Binky's Beam, by John McLaughlin. See what you think. If you're from the northwest, you're probably familiar with the artists on this album. They're all active in the Seattle-area music scene - as educators and performers in live and studio settings. More than being just the drummer in the group, Fred Taylor also works as an arranger, and producer on recordings, jingles, TV, and more. There are more than 65 minutes of music to enjoy on Processional. What are you waiting for?”
- Clive Griffin - Jazz Improv Magazine August 2007

Gary Lee Rollins - Music Educator “Propulsive little grooves run through floating atmospheres in the debut release from drummer Fred Taylor's Inquest quartet, carrying the listener along in a sort of rhythmic jet stream. Guitarist Gary Rollins is the primary melodic voice early on, crafting serpentine soliloquies over the leader's stuttering cadences and James Clark's flowing lines on electric and acoustic bass. Later, saxophonist-flutist Craig Lawrence adds a melancholy touch to the proceedings, soaring like a balloon through 'Icarus' and buffeted by breezes in the title track.”
- Forrest Dylan Bryant - Jazz Times May 2007