Bob Stata: Get This (2004)
Get This is the final bar of Bob Stata, a bassist and composer from Rochester, New York, who died in 2005 after a long illness. Firmly ensconced in the familiar stylistic boundaries of bebop, the record is straightforward, unpretentious and thoroughly enjoyable. Aside from one of his original compositions ("Get This ) and one by pianist Dino Losito ("Concedaration ), Stata included gems from the American Popular Songbook and lesser known tunes by prominent jazz musicians. The striking melodies and familiar chord changes bring out the best in Losito, drummer Mike Melito and tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, all literate and experienced hands who have spent much of their careers interpreting this kind of material.
Consistently expanding and contracting, Stewart's broad and slightly nasal sound always gives the impression of reaching for something, yet it never sounds strained. Riding on Stata's rock-solid foundation, he purposefully strides through the changes of "Concedaration. The tenor saxophonist balances long, tightly knit lines and swelling phrases, often leaving space for Melito's chomping fills. Although never indulging in histrionics, there's a pleading quality to Stewart's solo on a ballad treatment of "Darn That Dream, where he moves between impassioned double time passages and eloquent short cries.
Not unlike his playing on the rest of the record, Dino Losito's turn on Thad Jones' sly "Lady Luck puts together ideas in a continuum devoid of clutter. Losito's touch at the keyboard is firm, yet it has an elastic, even soft characteristic; his rhythmic sensibility accommodates a relaxed feeling in the midst of a stable core.
In addition to his impeccable support of the ensemble and soloists, Stata takes several solos. A single chorus in the middle of the band's temperate version of Charlie Parker's "Quasimodo is typical: every note gets its due as he spins an easygoing, uncomplicated yarn, gently swinging over Melito's softly sweeping brushwork.
Track Listing: Concedaration; Lady Luck; Get This; Until Then; Second Time Around; Quasimodo; Darn That Dream; Something In Common.
Personnel: Bob Stata: bass; Grant Stewart: tenor saxophone; Dino Losito: piano; Mike Melito: drums.