With over ten recordings as a leader since his 1984 debut On Time (Toshiba/EMI), alto saxophonist Jim Snidero continues to be a driving force in mainstream jazz. On Tippin', Snidero recruits organist Mike Ledonne, guitarist Paul Bollenback and drummer Tony Reedus for a spirited session of burners, ballads and blues.
The title track, a ridiculously fast blues, starts out with a thick layer of chops-heavy grease courtesy of Bollenback's George Benson-inspired lines. Snidero and LeDonne follow suit with their own blistering bursts of bebop energy. Ledonne's "Young Like" pays homage to the late organist Larry Young. The structural demands of the piece, coupled with its frenetic tempo, do not seem to phase the quartet. Everyone solos with clearly defined, imaginative lines.
The waters eventually calm and settle into more typical organ combo grooviness. Tunes like "Let's Be Frank," Snidero's Basie-style tribute to Frank Wess, "The More I See You," revealing the influence of Jimmy Smith on LeDonne's soloing, and the funky "K2," are toe-tapping, feel-good cuts.
The session's original tunes are the most exciting, but in the hands of these top-notch soloists, even well-worn standards like "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Alone Together" end up sounding slick.
There's nothing startling about Tippin'. It's just hip, swinging music performed exceptionally well. Snidero and crew leave a soulful impression.
Personnel: Jim Snidero: alto saxophone; Mike LeDonne: Hammond B-3 organ; Paul Bollenback: guitar; Tony Reedus: drums.