Sylvia Cuenca is an up-and-coming drummer/percussionist who has plied her wares with the likes of Clark Terry (check out Herr Ober
), David Glasser, Ron McClure, Don Friedman, and Eddie Henderson. She now co-leads the Exit 13
date with organist Kyle Koehler, who most recently has been providing piano support to Matthew Parris (see Circles
). Here, Koehler trades the eighty-eight for an organ and the duo adds the capable Dave Stryker to the mix to produce a low-fat organ trio. Stryker most recently may be heard supplying Anglo-Latin grit to Trio Mundo (see Carnival
Having introduced the principals, the trio performs a seamless brand of jazz that is all bean sprouts and fruit juice, as opposed to the barbecue and beer of Jimmy Smith and Grant Green. Nothing wrong with that. Stryker kicks off the party with a blues, "Miss C’s Shuffle" ostensibly dedicated to the band’s beautiful leader. Stryker also donates the upbeat "Happy," on which Koehler lays down a plush carpet of groove, accented by Ms. Cuenca’s deft traps. Koehler provides the title track, offering the drummer to show off her chops, and "Big Ed," a cool funk piece. Lester Young swing is represented with "Ritha," a piece that strolls along with the Rodgers and Hart standard, "Easy to Remember."
Exit 13 is a wholesome dose of healthy jazz, well conceived and performed. Highly recommended.
Personnel: Sylvia Cuenca-Drums; Kyle Koehler-Organ; Dave Stryker-Guitars.