Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joe Locke - For the Love of You (E1 Entertainment, 2010)

Inspired by recording the music of Henry Mancini in a previous project and by hearing vocalist Kenny Washington during a club gig, vibraphonist Joe Locke put this group together investigate some of their his songs. The band features Washington along with Geoffrey Keezer on piano, George Mraz on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. Much of the music is taken at a slow ballad pace, but "Old Devil Moon" kicks starts the group into a more swinging feel with Locke taking a fine dexterous vibraphone solo. Neil Young's "Birds" is a pleasant surprise and actually works pretty well, replacing Young's shaky warble with Washington's soaring voice. There are a couple of Locke originals as well, “I Miss New York (When I Been Gone Too Long)” and “Verrazano Moon.” This disc was very well played and the musicians are certainly talented, but it just wasn't my thing. Smooth and mellow, with a heavy focus on ballad material, I wish that the music had a little more grit. But in the musicians defense, swing was what they were going for. For the Love of You - amazon.com