How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Guitarist Josh Workman's Jumpin' at the Border swings into that rare "I don't get enough of..." category. I don't get enough of his gypsy style with the Hot Club of San Francisco ("Kali Sara"); I don't get enough of his boppin' (Sippin' at Bell's); I don't get enough of Kim Nalley's bluesy and seductive vocals ("I Can't Face the Music/I Want a little Boy" and "You're Drivin' Me Crazy"); I don't get enough of his Brazilian sound (Andre de Sapato Novo," "Nono," "Carinhoso").
Workman shines in every style he tackles here, on a 72-minute, 16-song tour of jazz sounds. Pick your favoritefor this listener it the Brazilian numbers, but that's just a personal groove I'm in of late. His too-brief Django swing with the Hot Club of San Francisco seems a tantalizing appetizer to a full set of such; and he's particularly tastey behind vocalist Nalley, a lady that makes you want to fall in love/lust with her, with that saucy little growl in her voice on "You're Drivin' Me Crazy."
"Andre de Sapato" is an example of the Brazilian choro writing of mandolin master Jacob do Bandolim, and Workman's picking here sounds tight and piquant, fittingly mandolin-ish. Coro leads into the guitarist's tune, "Monkish," that sounds to these ears more like a laid back Charlie Parker tune than a Thelonious workout.
Workman has an amazing command of styles, but I, selfishly, want to hear that full-on Brazilian CD he might decide to put out. Or the swing set with the Hot Club; or that set of originals...
But this time out the mix of styles keeps the set interesting, the listener engaged.
Track Listing: Jumpin' at the Border, Sippin' at Bell's, Andre de Sapato Novo, Monkish, Autumn Nocturne, The Sweetest Sounds, No Me Platiques Mas, Ow!, I Can't Find the Music/I Want a Little Boy, Nono, Take Me in Your Arms, Kali Sara, You're Drivin' Me Crazy, My Pearl, Carinhosa, You're Blase
Personnel: Josh Workman--guitar; Larry Vuckovitch--piano/arranger; Noel Jewkes--saxophone, flute; Kim Nalley--vocals;Nat Johnson, Buca Necak, Perry Thoorsell--bass; Harold Jones, Omar Clay--drums; John Santos--percussion; The Hot Club of San Francisco