Jim Rotondi: Iron Man (2006)
The title cut is a forum for Rotondi, Greene and Nelson to demonstrate their soloing prowess on the backs of a pumping, full-speed rhythm. Nelson, as the only chordal instrument, is a mellow addition to the rhythm section, and he steers the proceedings into a melodious groove on his homage to Rotondi's wife, "Chouchou. In tribute to pianist James Williams, his "For My Nephews continues in this spirit, benefitting from Nelson's deft solo and Rotondi's lightly caressing horn.
The Gershwin standard "Embraceable You opens delicately with vibes and brushes that set just the right stage for the honey that flows from Rotondi's horn. Stewart and Nelson interact in an intricate rhythmic environment that allows trumpet and tenor to blow some bop on the trumpeter's "Digit, while "Repetition, a tribute to Bird, adds an entrancing bossa respite to the program.
The multiple layers of the somewhat off-center personality that is "Mr. Craignos are explored by each musician, with Greene's soprano sax delving deepest into his mind, before things end on a more natural note with Greene's bluesy sendoff, "Power. With this creatively assembled band, Rotondi has shown that his Iron Man has a warm heart and a pure soul.
Track Listing: Iron Man; Chouchou; For My Nephews; Embraceable You; Digit; Repetition; Mr. Craignos; Power.
Personnel: Jim Rotondi: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jimmy Greene: tenor and soprano sax; Steve Nelson: vibraphone; Doug Weiss: bass; Bill Stewart: drums.
Record Label: Criss Cross