Carolyn Leonhart: Tides of Yesterday (2010)
The material includes choices from the standard songbook, jazz classics and three originals with lyrics by Leonhart. The jazz classic standout is Charles Mingus' "Eclipse" (a piece Escoffery plays regularly with the Mingus Orchestra and Big Band), capturing the eerie, moody feeling of the solar phenomenon with the sensitivity of Leonhart's lyric reading and Rogers' playing. Notable also is a bluesy "Sometimes I'm Happy," where Leonhart and Escoffery feature a call-and-response section and some blistering saxophone work. But perhaps the real highlight is "Big Noise, New York," a good song by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan fame, Leonhart being part of that band's touring ensemble). The reading grabs the attention from the opening moments to the long fadeout, with Leonhart's richly textured voice and Escoffery's energetic fills.
Whether it be for the individual talents of Leonhart, Escoffery and their band mates, their interactions, or the arrangements of the material, more than one listen is needed to appreciate the entire musical tapestry here.
Track Listing: Better Next Time; The Sweetest Sounds; Sometimes I'm Happy; Never Never Land; You Must Believe In Spring; The Harbor (Poppy's Song); Eclipse; Big Noise, New York; Where There Is Love; Straight To You (Baloo Baloo;, Infinity.
Personnel: Carolyn Leonhart: vocals; Wayne Escoffery: tenor and soprano saxophones; Toru Dodo: piano and Fender Rhodes; Adam Rogers: guitar (2, 7); Hans Glawschnig: bass; Donald Edwards: drums; Jeff Haynes: percussion (2, 6, 7, 10).
Record Label: Savant Records