Jeb Patton: New Strides (2009)
He immediately uses his prodigious technique to good advantage as crisp speedy lines set a cheery mood on CD opener "Billy," not in a vacant sense but in that great-to-be-alive spring morning kind of feeling, a sense that permeates the entire session. Witness "My Ideal" transfigured into a frisky jaunt, the clean melodic lines of "The Music Goes On," a lightly swinging interpretation of the standard "If Ever I would Leave You" and a pleasantly funky tribute to Patton's mentor "Sir Roland" (Hanna) that simmers courtesy of "Tootie" Heath's drums.
Midsession, Jimmy Heath's soprano sax brings a beautifully pensive respite to the otherwise up-tempo feel with a tastefully smoky version of Howard Arlen's "Last Night When We Were Young" before his own swinger, "Cloak and Dagger," has his brother picking the pace right back up. A Spanish tinge is evident in the trio's interpretation of "Estate," segueing into Patton and Jimmy Heath leading a most melodically interesting walk down the pianist's "Street Song." A stylish rendition of Cole Porter's "Dream Dancing" closes out this enjoyable session on a high note. To paraphrase the tagline from the MAXJAZZ piano series of which it is a part, New Strides is at the center of melody and harmony.
Track Listing: Billy; My Ideal; The Music Goes On; Sir Roland; If Ever I Would Leave You; Last Night When We Were Young; Cloak and Dagger; Estate; Street Song; Dream Dancing.
Personnel: Jeb Patton: piano; David Wong: bass; Pete Van Nostrand: drums; Albert "Tootie" Heath: drums (4, 7, 8); Jimmy Heath: soprano saxophone (6).
Record Label: MAXJAZZ