Finesse and class is what The New York Hard bop Quintet’s “A Whisper Away” brings to the table. Fine credentials and varied backgrounds provide the synergy, which makes for a winning combination. Here, the formula lies within the Jazz Messenger-Brown/Roach school of Hard-Bop. Legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder wields his magic wan and adds his branded touch of expertise which makes for a clean and crisp aural experience. Tracks such as pianist Keith Saunder’s “99” come right at ya, featuring a no nonsense straight-ahead delivery with plenty of articulate soloing among the band members. The standard “Everything I Have Is Yours” is handled delicately featuring Pianist Saunder’s lush melodic development and Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli’s sublime phrasing. Saunder’s “Martin Scores Easy” is a traditional Hard-Bop burner yet smooth and polished. The New York Hard bop Quintet is not about superstars and egos. This is a community affair and it shows throughout. On “ Martin Scores Easy” Jerry Weldon scores with an uplifting and charismatic Tenor Sax solo while the rhythm section cruises in affable yet compact fashion. Saxophonist Jerry Weldon’s “A Whisper Away” is a multicolored up and away Bop tune showing verve and tight-knit coordination.
The New York Hard bop Quintet bring Bop standards to a modern day high. This isn’t about lengthy and arduous cutting contests. These folks understand what it takes to portray Bop not only as a vehicle for soloists but more from a compositional standpoint. On “A Whisper Away”, it’s the big picture that is prominently portrayed. Recommended!
Bim Strasberg; Bass: Keith Saunders; Piano: Joe Magnarelli; Trumpet: Clifford Barbaro; Drums: Jerry Weldon; Trumpet