(no catalog number), 70:31.
by Steve Koenig
The first thing
that strikes about this quintet is just how damned happy they are, rightly so
and infectiously so. The first track, trumpeter/flugel Jed Feuer's "Bipolar,"
has a braided head for trumpet and sax, and although it isn't in that style,
you could easily jump-dance to it. Pianist Craig Swanson arranged Debussy and
came up with "Killer Beau (Soir)," another swinging track which seems
more Bacharach than Debussy (this is a compliment), and cleverly ends in a segue
to Benny Golson's "Killer Joe."
In addition to
the originals, there's Fauré, more Debussy, Brahms, and Ludwig van (the
presto of op. 30, of all things, with a taste of Brasil and klez!) - all of
them kicking jazz tracks. The Bill Withers and Lennon/McCartney tracks are interesting
in that they stick more clearly to the melodies, yet are not jazz-lite.
Clearly this is
not what it means to be medically bipolar. In fact, this disc is good medicine
for what ails you. I'd suggest skipping your next purchase of a (name your favorite
'60s label) reissue and purchase this one by musicians who are kicking it as
we speak. If they're this cool in the studio, I look forward to catching them
live. Sample them on their website. Don't let this disc fall between the cracks.
piano; Jed Feuer, trumpet, flugelhorn; Stephanie Long, saxes and flute; David
Ostrem, bass; James Windsor-Wells or Robert C. Kelly, drums.