What seems at first blush to be a nonet on this splendid new album is actually trumpeter Douglas Olsen
's core quartet, amplified on various selections by talented guests who raise the number anywhere from a quintet to an octet. Even though Olsen has been a super-busy free-lancer on the New England jazz scene for more than two decades, 2 Cents
is apparently his first recording date as leader of his own group; with that in mind, perhaps Olsen reasoned it would require all the support he could muster.
He needn't have worried. While it is good to hear those other voices, the clear impression is that Olsen's quartet would have fared well enough on its own, governed as it is by his bright and inventive trumpet, and comprising a solid rhythm section (pianist Tim Ray
, bassist Dave Zinno
, drummer Mark Walker
). Olsen wrote half a dozen of the album's nine engaging tunes, and shows he has a genuine knack for that as well. Yaure Muniz
makes it a dual-trumpet front line on a pair of those originals, "Miles Rumba" and "Boperation," while saxophonist Dino Govoni
shares the stage with Olsen on alto saxophone ("Rat-Race") and tenor saxophone ("2 Cents," "Critical Mass," "Passage"). Trombonist Angel Subrero
enlarges the group on "Miles Rumba," "Boperation" and Dizzy Gillespie
's lyrical "Algo Bueno," tenor saxophonist Tucker Antell
on "Miles Rumba," conguero Ernesto Diaz
on "Algo Bueno," "Miles Rumba" and "Boperation."
Olsen favors brisk tempos, to which his agile horn is well-suited, starting with the opening number for quartet, "Tailwind," and including the fast-moving "Rat-Race," "Boperation" and "Passage," which rings down the curtain. There is an explicit Latin accent as well, on "Algo Bueno," "Miles Rumba" and "Una Para Ti." While Olsen solos most oftenand, it should be noted, quite persuasivelyGovoni, Muniz, Antell, Subrero and Ray make their assertive voices heard, as do Zinno and Walker. An impressive coming-out party that needs no balloons, fireworks or other trappings to ensure its success.
Tailwind; 2 Cents; Algo Bueno; Rat-Race; Miles Rumba; Critical Mass; Boperation; Una
Para Ti; Passage.