Returning for his third release on the Origin label, Grammy-nominated composer/arranger/saxophonist Kim Richmond leads his ensemble in a dynamic performance at the Café Metropol in downtown Los Angeles, representing the ensemble's first live album.
Recorded in March, 2007, the Kim Richmond Ensemble is essentially a sextet where the piano duties are shared by Rich Eames and Brian Friedland. The group performs two original Richmond compositions"Seagate 1 and "Fuzzy Wuzzy. and Clay Jenkins' "In Fine Line, with the balance of the repertoire devoted to familiar standards given new and sophisticated interpretations through Richmond's rearrangements.
Four of the numbers clock in between eleven and sixteen minutes, beginning with the lengthy opener, "You Don't Know What Love Is. Richmond leads off with a beautiful warm alto solo on the nine-minute Bronsilau Kaper standard "Invitation, followed by trumpeter John Daversa and trombonist Joey Sellers weaving one very enchanting piece of music.
Richmond's soprano saxophone is mesmerizing on the melody of Jimmy Rowles' ballad "The Peacocks, with Daversa delivering an outstanding solo. The other ballad that is especially notable is the Livingston classic "Never Let Me Go, a slow and soft moving arrangement, where Richmond and Daversa team up again for more delicious solos.
The set ends with the explosive twelve-minute "In Fine Line, one of the more complicated arrangements that, while not easy to follow, showcases Sellers on an extended solo backed up by drummer Erik Klass.
Live at Café Metropol stands out as one of the finest original recordings around. Richmond proves again why his talents on sax and his skills as an arranger have garnished him Grammy considerations in the past. His work here provides a truly enjoyable session of serious jazz.
Track Listing: You Don't Know What Love Is; Invitation; Seagate 1; The Peacocks; Fuzzy Wuzzy; Never Let Me Go; In Fine Line.
Personnel: Kim Richmond: alto and soprano saxophone; John Daversa: trumpet; Joey Sellers: trombone; Rich Eames: piano (2, 3, 5, 7); Brian Friedland: piano (1, 4, 6); Kristin Korb: bass; Erik Klass: drums.