by Tom Haugen
Blue Bamboo, 2020
The guitarist Chris Cortez and trumpeter Larry Williams have enjoyed a musical journey and friendship that goes back many decades, and here they’re in the company of Dan Jordan, Bob Thornton, Walt Hubbard, Marco Bojorquez, Jeremy Katalenic, Jeff Sipe, and Doug Mathews for a very well thought out batch of expressive jazz tunes.
The title track opens the listen with no lack of rhythm as the lively drumming is met with Dan Jordan’s dreamy flute and the warm brass, and “Melody Makes It Happen” follows with a very soulful and cozy spirit to the soothing jazz spirit.
“Ask Me No Questions” arrives in the middle and showcases Cortez’s intricate guitar work amid Bob Thornton’s fluent keys and strategically plucked bass, while “Silhouette” makes precise use of flute, keys and drums in a superbly textured album highlight.
Landing near the end, “Territorial Imperative” glides with a festive appeal that showcases a dynamic, timeless jazz execution, and “Building On A Dream” exits the listen with emotive brass that leads into a stylish and alluring finish.
Williams actually retired from the trumpet in 2012, but a set of very specific circumstances led him back to the horn, thankfully, and here he employs it with much agility and poise alongside the esteemed players for an inimitable performance.