Jazz2Love reviews Body and Soul from Alexander McCabe

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Alexander McCabe Ensemble


Album:  Body and Soul
Artist:  Alexander McCabe
Label: WAMCO
Website:  www.amccabemusic.com

Body and Soul is Alexander McCabe’s 6th album as a leader.  His credits additionally include pianist, saxophonist and composer.  Joining McCabe are his frequent collaborators, Paul Odeh on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass, and Craig Wuepper on drums.  The 6-track CD includes four originals penned by McCabe and his re-worked arrangements of Johnny Green’s “Body and Soul” and John Coltrane’s “Countdown.”

Oftentimes, the music takes listeners back to 1960’s jazz rooms where lofts and supper clubs were filled with the sounds of traipsing keys and strolling horns cradled in a chassis of steady beats pumping from the bass and drums.  Such easy listening bodywork structures McCabe’s daydreamy musings along “Elena,” named after his niece, and his softly bobbing “If I See Her.”  It’s the type of music that makes audiences fall in love with jazz.

The up-tempo of “Christi’s Day,” another of McCabe’s originals named for an old friend, illustrates the swift thrusts of Okegwo’s bass while McCabe’s saxophone soars above, scrolling a path of impromptu quavers.  The rapid swirling of the saxophone subsides, opening space for Odeh’s piano solo, fusing gentle tremors across the melodic plane.  McCabe’s re-working of Green’s “Body and Soul,” stokes the bebop fibers of the composition, forming a stream of zigzagging phrases.

Honing his bebop and hard bop chops as a member of the George Coleman Octet, McCabe is astute at making jazz that audiences fall in love with and want to have in their lifestyle.  He kindles an inner jubilation in audiences that mirrors what ignited the jazz of the 1960’s, which branded straight-head jazz for generations to come.

Alexander McCabe – soprano, alto saxophones
Paul Odeh – piano
Ugonna Okegwo – bass
Craig Wuepper – drums

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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