Debbie Poryes: Catch Your Breath (2010)
Poryes' compositionsthe title track, "Prayer for a Child," "Willie's Waltz" and "Lake Dream"contain focused melodies and lush harmonic progressions, rife for elaborate improvised excursions. "Prayer for a Child" stands out among the intricacies of the disc's nine tracks with its gospel feel and soulful backbeat. Here, New York-based saxophonist Bruce Williamson embraces the tune's harmonic simplicity with an emotive vocal quality.
The majority of the soloing comes from Poryes and Williamson, both adaptive performers who swing their lines with confidence. Poryes' longtime collaborators, bassist Bill Douglass and drummer David Rokeach, add rhythmic intensity, exercising taste and discretion. Douglass is allowed a brief moment in the spotlight with a strong reading of the melody to The Beatles' "Here, There & Everywhere."
Catch Your Breath is as much a showcase for Poryes' composing and arranging skills as it is for her piano playing. With the right combination of sidemen, the pianist's musical vision is realized throughout this satisfying quartet release.
Track Listing: Catch Your Breath; I've Got the Sun in the Morning; Prayer for a Child; My Heart Stood Still; I Should Care; Willie's Waltz; Melody for C; Here, There & Everywhere; Lake Dream.
Personnel: Debbie Poryes: piano; Bruce Williamson: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bill Douglass: bass; David Rokeach: drums.
Record Label: OA2 Records
Style: Modern Jazz