Trumpeter Pete Di Losa and singer Khristina Joy lead a session of straight-ahead standards with a nod to modern big band sounds and comfortable bebop. Di Losa's wide open trumpet tone and Joy's expressive vocal articulation combine with the ensemble's trombone, saxophones, guitar, piano, bass, and drums to offer a big sound with ample doses of swing. More information and a few samples of from their debut album may be found athttp://www.healey.com.au/~jazzband/sheerjoy.htm
The warm and friendly classic "How About You" starts off the session with solos by pianist Kevin Hunt, guitarist Dave Colton, trumpeter Di Losa, tenor saxophonist Paul Williams and fours with drummer Will Dower. The arrangements produce a big band sound with an ensemble that numbers from 5 to 10 artists per track; personnel varies. The title track is Joy's composition; it's a blues with a message about lovers' adjustments, changing attitudes, and taking charge of your own life. "Over Time" is much different, with synth strings, flugelhorn, and a sadly romantic ballad-singer discussing a relationship that appears to be failing. Joy's fresh lyrics contain several classic lines: "Hello sweetheart, how was your day today?", and later, "Is our love going just a little slow? Is our love becoming just a little slow?" And finally: "Was it busy at work today?" The song's title, "Over Time," provides several explanations all at once: Is he working overtime, or seeking extra-curricular adventures? If it's genuine overtime work, then perhaps that daily stress is at the root of the pair's romantic indecision. And finally, the changes that take place over time are common to all and result in predicaments we've all seen before.
"Dots for Trotts" introduces powerful Latin jazz to the session; with support from timbalero Matt Di Losa and electric bassist Adam Armstrong, the searing solos by trumpeter Di Losa and guitarist Colton weave and dance around the big band arrangement. Di Losa's approach swings with ease and a vivid imagination. Similarly, "La Mariposa" rolls out a samba rhythm with percussive syncopated piano, whistles, and rattles to support the trumpeter and flutist / tenor saxophonist Col Loughnan. George Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" swing out with the comfortable fit of guitar, trumpet, tenor sax and rhythm. Like Lester Young, saxophonist Paul Williams oozes sensitive phrases while allowing the others to add appropriate colors. Di Losa and Joy have assembled an excellent supporting cast, and their instrumental, vocal, and writing talents are "a sheer joy to behold." Highly Recommended.