About the album
As the title of the book that Eric and I co-authored The Ultimate Sideman demonstrates, Eric is the epitome of what a total rhythm section player should demonstrate. That is recognizing exactly what is musically needed to make any soloist comfortable and relaxed so they can concentrate on sounding at the top of their game. This historic album provides total proof of how Eric accomplishes this challenging task. The instrumental focus is specially on tenor players featuring some of the all-time greats. With Eddie Davis, Johnny Griffin, Clifford Jordan, George Coleman, Dexter Gordon, Grant Stewart, Lucky Thompson, John Ruocco and I am honored to say myself, each track clearly highlights Eric's sympathetic and on some of the tunes very intense playing. In fact the Dexter track might be one of Dex ́s most intense and adventurous live outings recorded....a fantastic take on one of the great tunes from the jazz repertoire, Benny Golson ́s “Stablemates.”
All of us who have toured with Eric know how generous his spirit is, with a great sense of humor and grace not only on the bandstand but on a day to day basis as he organizes all the many levels of logistics required to bring these gigs off. This is an historical recording that I am sure took a lot of work to put together traversing decades from 1968 to 2014. The music clearly shows the way it used to be and in some cases still exists.... a soloist joins a rhythm section for a few sets playing standards, communicating non-verbally and if it is Eric Ineke on drums, for sure, SWINGING!! Happy 70th my friend.
- David Liebman. Stroudsburg, PA USA. January 14, 2017