140

Russ Kassoff: Bird Fly By

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Russ Kassoff: Bird Fly By Bird Fly By opens, appropriately enough, with Russ Kassoff's unaccompanied piano establishing an easygoing vibe on Gus Kahn / Walter Donaldson's flapper-era standard, "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby." He's soon joined by bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Dennis Mackrel for a groovy romp that's all but certain to leave the listener smiling. Listening to that prefatory number is all that's needed to understand that Kassoff clearly loves what he is doing—and that he does it remarkably well.

Kassoff's musical philosophy could well be summed up in a word, "Joy," which coincidentally is the title of special guest Adam Niewood's sunny composition, on which the composer's eloquent tenor saxophone reinforces the trio. Kassoff's half-dozen originals includes the plaintive "Elegy, Part 1—Suite for Gerry," dedicated to Niewood's father, a superb woodwind player who died in a plane crash in February 2009. The younger Niewood reappears on that tune, this time on soprano sax, to carry the ball most of the way. Kassoff also wrote "Bird Fly By," "A Breath of Spring," "One Minute More," "As Life Disappears" and "Every Day I'm in Love with You," each of which underscores his impressive talents as a composer.

Standards not already noted include Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Edelweiss," Lerner and Loewe's "The Heather on the Hill," Howard Dietz / Arthur Schwartz's too-seldom-heard "New Sun in the Sky" (complete with zestful boogie woogie licks) and Mort Dixon / Harry Woods' "River Stay 'Way from My Door." Jerome Richardson wrote the suitably named "The Groove Merchant," and Buffy Sainte-Marie the lyrical "Until It's Time for You to Go." Kassoff plays each one with equal parts warmth and intelligence, while his quick-handed colleagues, Mackrel (the new director of the Count Basie Orchestra) and Anderson, lend perceptive and unflagging support.

A delightful album by a pianist (and trio) who should be more widely known and appreciated.


Track Listing: Yes, Sir, That's My Baby; Bird Fly By; Edleweiss; Joy; As Life Disappears; The Groove Merchant; The Heather on the Hill; A Breath of Spring; One Minute More; Every Day I'm in Love with You; River Stay 'Way from My Door; New Sun in the Sky; Until It's Time for You to Go; Elegy, Part 1--Suite for Gerry.

Personnel: Russ Kassoff: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Dennis Mackrel: drums; Adam Niewood: soprano saxophone (4), tenor saxophone (14).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: RHK Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Eleventet - Please Call" CD/LP/Track Review The Eleventet - Please Call
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Simians Of Swing" CD/LP/Track Review Simians Of Swing
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "EARS" CD/LP/Track Review EARS
by Rob Caldwell
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC" CD/LP/Track Review Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Real Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Real Talk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!