The band name comes from an Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recording (Original Jazz Classics 90). I got that from the liner notes after I had listened to the disc. I originally noted that Ugetsu’s lineup was identical to that the 60s Messengers with a tenor-trumpet-trombone front. The tone of Cape Town Blues
is like a smooth-corner Wayne Shorter-Freddie Hubbard-Curtis Fuller Messenger assembly (the same front as the Jazz Messenger’s Ugetsu
. Then I read the liner notes and though, “No wonder!” The music is very vintage 60s jazz with better high fidelity and just enough reverence for the music (stopping short of smothering it).
The songs are a typical collection of meat and potato hard Bop pieces. "Commandments from a Higher Authority" sounds like a hip update of "Walkin'" complete with the trumpet call and response behind the trombone solo. "Cape Town Blues is a straight ahead hard Bop Blues, no frills, just right. The fast pieces are upbeat but never frenetic. The Ballads are laid back and relaxed. Cape Town Blues is a durable recording that offers the reader multiple awards after several listenings.
Personnel: Martin Zenker: Bass; Valery Ponomarev: Trumpet; Tim Armacost: Tenor Saxophone; Adrian Mears: Trombone; Bernhard Pichl: Piano; Rick Hollander: Drums.