Saturday, May 15, 2010

One for All - Incorrigible (Jazz Legacy Productions, 2010)

One for All is a collective band that mines the fertile soil first seeded by hard-bop pioneers like Horace Silver and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Using the mainstream jazz of the 1950's and 60's a jumping off point, the group creates their own bop, ballads and blues investigating that style. The band consists of Jim Rotondi on trumpet and flugelhorn, David Hazeltine on piano, Eric Alexander on tenor saxophone, John Webber on bass, Steve Davis on trombone and Joe Farnsworth on drums. The opening track is "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" which is medium up in tempo and jaunty, featuring a fast tenor saxophone solo. Piano, bass and drums take command with solos. "Petite Ange" opens with piano, bass and drums at mid-tempo with trumpet cutting through strong and clean. Tenor and classy strutting trombone improvise over rippling piano, before trumpet builds to a sputtering climax. Trumpet is featured over slower stately brushes in the delicate ballad performance of "Voice." The full strutting band returns on "Incorrigible," playing at a fast paced with big lusty trumpet setting the stage for tenor saxophone which probes over strongly comped piano before the horns return to the theme together to takes things out. "Blues for Jose" is deep and thick and taken at a medium tempo. Raw flavored trombone floats over the rhythm section, giving way to stocky tenor saxophone that thickens the music like a spicy chili. "Spirit Waltz" opens with a deep piano trio and harmonizing horn, really developing into a format that will be familiar to fans of the classic Blue Note and Prestige recordings. The trombone of Steve Davis cuts in bobbing and weaving with slabs of music. Farnsworth weighs in with a nice drum interlude before the horns return to usher out a well done hard-bop performance. A gently swinging Latin feel provides the foundation of "Back to Back," with Alexander getting the featured solo, cutting strongly through the music with a tone reminiscent of the classic tenors like Dexter Gordon and Gene Ammons. "So Soon" concludes the album with a bluesy strut and some strong dark tenor that is idiomatic of their music. The music on this album is a classy and accessible form of hard-bop, and while it might not be on the cutting edge of improvised music today, the musicians perform it with wit and energy and fans of classic jazz will find it enjoyable. Incorrigible -

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