How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Some live jazz albums transport the listener. If you shut your eyes, you can picture the dim lights of the candles on the tables, the clinking sound of ice cubes falling into glass tumblers... you might even find yourself looking around for someone to take your drink order. One Night at The Kitano makes you feel like you are out at the midtown jazz spot.
on drums, saxophonist Jed Levy delivers one of the most enjoyable albums of the year. It's also accessible, straight-ahead music that everyone can enjoy. Novice listeners will say "now, that's jazz I'd pay to see live."
That's not to say that it won't appeal to seasoned jazz veterans. Musical complexity and inventiveness abound, especially on the Levy original "Reversible You," which (as the title suggests) applies some structural adjustments to a familiar standard to superb effect. The set consists of six Levy compositions, as well as one standard: a ten-minute rendition of Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing," with the leader and Mays at their most inspired.
The disc's opening number, "A Great Week," pays tribute to an engagement Levy once played with the late John Hicks