Rich Corpolongo Trio: Get Happy (2010)
Throughout this toe-tapping disc, Corpolongo's musings rise from the bebop well with the indelible markings of saxophonist Charlie Parker. Indeed, the disc is book-ended with two medium-tempo Parker classics, "Chi Chi" and "Dewey Square." With the support of only bass (Dan Shapera) and drums (Rusty Jones), Corpolongo is allowed the freedom to straddle the ins and outs of a tune's harmonic structure. Standard gems such as "Without a Song" and "The Boy Next Door" and the title track, find the leader in a playful state, twisting his lines into contorted shapes while maintaining a cool soulfulness.
The influence of Rollins is evident, not only in Corpolongo's improvisations, but in the way he manages a melody. His sly reading of "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" and "Lullaby of the Leaves," for example, contain out-of-left-field octave jumps and ornamental flourishes, bringing a delightful sense of unpredictability to the familiar.
All in all, Get Happy is an attention-grabbing listen from a seasoned improviser with a remarkable story-telling ability.
Track Listing: Chi Chi; Mangoes; Body and Soul; Without a Song; The Boy Next Door; Get Happy; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; Lullaby of the Leaves; Dewey Square.
Personnel: Rich Corpolongo: tenor saxophone; Dan Shapera: bass; Rusty Jones: drums.
Record Label: Delmark Records