(Review by Lance).
It has been suggested, my reviews are ‘schmoozers’ then let me put you in the picture. If I don’t like an album it doesn’t get reviewed it’s as simple as that. Some of the rejects end up as coasters others, well you don’t want to know what happens to them! In fact, 9 out of 10 albums are left on the cutting room floor.
This is a ten percent survivor!
It’s arrived via timemobile from 1950’s Birdland/Bop City/Blue Note Records to Charlottesville, Va, 2018. Art Blakey lives! Hank Mobley too and all the strung out cats who laid down some of the greatest modern jazz ever. Kilby and his cohorts carry on that tradition in a healthier fashion over two halves of an album that makes Charlottesville the jazz capital of the world for at least an hour or so.
The first half, nostalgically described as ‘Side 1’, has 13 tracks but only 5 of them occupy any length the others are but mere whimsical interludes. Intriguing numbers eg Sensitive Like Ladies has the 3 vocalists extolling the virtues of Lester Young and Life in a Glasshouse features Antonio Hart blowing jazzbricks in a Mingusian inspired composition.
‘Side 2’ continues in a similar vein with more hardbop and an unusual take on Jupiter from Holst’s The Planets Suite – that good old Jarrow Central School Hymn! Gustav Holst and the JCS headmaster may be turning in their respective graves but I for one would never have been late if this version had been played – it makes the recent Echoes of Ellington Orchestra’s setting seem as distant as the planet itself. Not a crit of either, I hasten to say, both are worthy of a place in the jazz universe.
Apart from the soloists, Christie Dashiell adds some delectable vocal touches to Pure Imagination
and Colors of the Wind
. I could wax eloquent forever but I don’t want to be accused once more of schmoozing so check it out for yourself
Jack Kilby (drums); John D’earth (trumpet); Charles Owens (tenor sax); Elad Cohen (trombone); Allyn Johnson (piano); Kris Monson (bass) + Antonio Hart (sop/alto sax); Braxton Cook (flute); Mark G. Meadows (piano); Marcus Tenney (trumpet); Peter Del Grosso (French horn); Christie Dashiell, Solomon Howard, Micah Robinson (vocals).