swings beautifully, drawing together a few original tunes from trumpeter Jim Rotondi and some out-of-the-ordinary classics that are delivered in real style by a classy quintet. The New York-based Rotondi has been in the jazz scene for more than 20 years and has an extensive back catalog of recordings as a leader. This is his third Posi-tone release as leader, following Four Of A Kind
(2008) and Blues For Brother Ray
The musicians on this release are exceptionalthey have a real sense of swing and a real feel for melodies, too. Vibes player Joe Locke
is outstanding, whether trading solos with Rotondi or adding to the rhythmic drive of pianist Danny Grissett
, drummer Bill Stewart
and bassist Barak Mori
Rotondi contributes three of his own compositions to the collection. They're all accessible, involving, tunes but "Gravitude"a hard-bop style, driving, up-tempo numberis the standout of the three and features excellent solos from Locke and Rotondi.
The best-known tune here is Lennon and McCartney's "We Can Work It Out." Rotondi's version is more syncopated than The Beatles
original, giving the song a fresh edge that's further enhanced by Grissett's percussive piano solo. The less well-known "1000 Rainbows" was written by the late vibes player Buddy Montgomery
Mori and Stewart lay down a strong and slinky groove on this tune, while Rotondi and Locke add distinctive solos. The most immediately enjoyable tune is Bill Mobley
's "49th Street." The tune conjures up a real sense of a bustling New York thoroughfare, with its pacey rhythm. Stewart switches to brushes for the number, Rotondi plays some fine muted trumpet, Locke contributes a warm and uplifting vibes solo and Mori's bass solo is chunky and fun.
"Not Like This," written by British-born arranger Jeremy Lubbock and originally recorded by Al Jarreau
, closes 1000 Rainbows
in fine style. The tune opens with a brief solo from Locke before Rotondi enters to play a straightforward, sparse, melody line with great precision over Locke's gentle vibes. No one else appears, the front-line duo is all that's necessary to create a short but lovely performance to end a delightful and rewarding album.
Bizzaro World; We Can Work It Out; One For Felix; 1000 Rainbows; Crescent Street; Born To Be Blue; Gravitude; 49th Street; Not Like This.
Jim Rotondi: trumpet; Joe Locke: vibraphone; Danny Grissett: piano; Barak Mori: bass; Bill Stewart: drums.