Joe Locke: Lay Down My Heart: Blues & Ballads Vol.1 (2013)
The session begins with the deep, velvety, funky pulse introduced by Finck on "Ain't No Sunshine," and continues on the type of journey that inspires hitting the "repeat" button. Certainly Lay Down My Heart is the kind of well-paced and varied experience that rolls from start to finish without a single jarring moment. The material is a thoughtfully selected mix that includes two of Locke's excellent originals (the wistful ballads "Broken Toy" and "This New October") as well as standards, old and new, from both the jazz and R&B songbooks.
Highlights are impossible to pick when each track, regardless of tempo, has such impressive groove and swing. There's also a creative new take on the 1928 warhorse "Making Whoopee," which this group transforms from a winking novelty number into a slow and greasy blues. It exemplifies the care and heart that has gone into each of the nine tunes on this CD, and which thoroughly whets the appetite for Volume 2.
Track Listing: Ain't No Sunshine; Broken Toy; Bittersweet; I Can't Make You Love Me; The Meaning of the Blues; Simone; This New October; Makin' Whoopee; Dedicated To You.
Personnel: Joe Locke: vibraphone; Jaimeo Brown: drums; Ryan Cohan: piano; David Finck: bass.
Record Label: Motema Music