Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rich Corpolongo - Get Happy (Delmark, 2010)

Classy small group jazz that harkens back to the classic trio recordings of Sonny Rollins can be found on this album. Rich Corpolongo is a tenor saxophonist with a large and appealing tone, playing classic bop, blues and ballads in the company of Dan Shapera on bass and Rusty Jones on drums. Sounding like a long club set in a basement jazz club, the trio opens and closes the album with Charlie Parker compositions, setting down their intentions for the music at hand. "Chi Chi" is an medium tempo performance that builds and develops over a lengthy reading. Parker's "Dewey Square" is a faster more standard bebop performance that develops to a fast pace with with trio running like a finely oiled machine. Spinning out the standard "Body And Soul" is a requirement for tenor players, and Corpolongo takes it with patient authority, developing a lengthy solo backed by subtle bass and drums. It's probably not fair to compare Corpolongo to Sonny Rollins, but the format and the thoughtful and melodic improvisation Rollins pioneered is certainly what he is striving for. He and the other members of the group succeed quite well and fans of mainstream jazz that is rooted in the bebop/hard-bop bedrock will find a lot to enjoy here. Get Happy -

Send comments to Tim.