Ira Nepus and Steve Moore: Another Time, Another Place (2007)
The late alto saxophonist Benny Carter would have been very proud of this first tribute of his music since his passing in 2003. Trombonist and longtime friend, Ira Nepus, collaborates with gifted guitarist Steve Moore in recording thirteen of Carter's best songs for this special album. The duo blends the vibrant sound of the trombone and guitar to produce a warm rendition of Carter's signature melodies.
Nepus and Moore anchor an unusual trombone/guitar front line supported by a cast of seasoned musicians, thirteen an all, although not all playing on each track. The personnel include John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra of which Nepus is a member. The majority of the tracks are recorded with a core quintet consisting of bassist Bruce Lett, drummer Jack LeCompte and pianist Geoff Straddling.
The music embraces contemporary mid-tempo light melodies with some swinging exceptions like the opening "The Romp. Nepus guides his trombone in playing the lead on the majority of the tunes. The trombonist plays soft and slowly on the light-moving "When The Lights Are Low, backed up by Moore's guitar.
Nepus employs the muted trombone on the raunchy "Rock Me To Sleep. One beautiful romantic ballad and pick for the best cut here is "The Courtship. The two leaders play lively on "I'm In The Mood For Swing, and "Easy Money, two numbers similar in style and swing.
The title track is another upbeat arrangement, providing guitarist Moore with one of his best solo performances. In somewhat of a departure from the majority of the repertoire, "Doozy comes across as a funky free-flowing piece with an appreciable percussive beat.
Nepus provides the only vocals on the set with his tribute to Carter on the finale, "All That Jazz. Another Time, Another Place presents a fresh new approach to Benny Carter's music while delivering a warm and graceful tribute from a friend. The unusual combination of trombone and guitar in the lead blend rather well in a unique interpretation of Carter's style.
Track Listing: The Romp; Hello; When Light Are Low; South Side Samba; Rock Me To Sleep; The Courtship; I'm In The Mood For Swing; People Time; Easy Money; Only Trust Your Heart; Another Time, Another Place; Doozy; All That Jazz.
Personnel: Ira Nepus: trombone, vocals; Steve Moore: acoustic, electric guitar; Bruce Lett: bass; John Clayton: bass; Granville "Danny" Young: bass; Jack LeCompte: drums; Jeff Hamilton: drums; Michael Rosen: drums; Geoff Stradling: piano; Tamir Hendelman: piano; Jeff Clayton: alto saxophone; Luis Conte: bongos, congas; Brian Kilgore: percussion; Sid Page: concertmaster; Patrick Moore: vocals.