250

Ernie Krivda: Blues for Pekar

Matt Marshall By

Sign in to view read count
Ernie Krivda: Blues for Pekar On Blues for Pekar, Cleveland saxophonist Ernie Krivda pays tribute, not only to the late writer, critic and jazz aficionado Harvey Pekar, but also to the time and place from which both men hailed. Working with the Detroit Connection rhythm section also featured on the saxophonist's Live at the Dirty Dog (CIMPoL, 2010), Krivda swings mightily through a set of bebop standards and originals that skip, sing and warmly sway to the pulsing beat of the rust belt in its mid-20th century heyday. The music, in fact, has a spring to its step, even on the ballads, that seems a touch at odds with the grumbling, down-in-the-mouth Pekar persona made famous by the writer's American Splendor comics. But the music's vibrancy is duly fleshed with bluesy, melodic heft that keeps it from ever becoming flighty.

As ever, Krivda favors long—ever so long—spiraling lines that weave in and out of a tune's scripted framework, flashing by turns the polished chrome of a standard's communal lyricism and the barreling weight of Krivda's own athletic insistence. His tone throughout is deep, wide, strong and full, commandeering the surge through an equally dense and enveloping field loosed by bassist Marion Hayden and drummer Renell Gonsalves, and captured to wonderful, old-school effect by engineer/producer Michael Seifert of Cleveland's Ante Up Audio.

Pianist Claude Black adds a bright, at times too springy piano to the affair (although his solo on the wide-awake "Darn That Dream" is spot-on), while trumpeters Sean Jones and Dominick Farinacci, both native Clevelanders and former Krivda pupils, each lend the sear of brass to a pair of tunes. Protocol on these numbers (Farinacci on the title track and "The End of a Love Affair"; Jones on Sonny Rollins' "Valse Hot" and Dexter Gordon's "Fried Bananas") is for sax and trumpet each to take a solo, and then come together down the home stretch—Farinacci's punctuated lyricism and Jones' relaxed swing both proving easy partners to Krivda's roiling bop.

Not only do the album's five standards serve as fertile bop soloing ground for Krivda and his mates, they also allow the saxophonist some arranging fun. "Love Affair" charges out of the gate in a rollicking exuberance far removed from the ballad's common moody rendering. Likewise, "Darn That Dream" is alive with expectant thought, while "More Than You Know" moves from Krivda's comically swaying, drunken horn into music which is alert and buzzing (with love, no doubt).

Still, it's the two Krivda originals at the album's close that give the work a relevance beyond the joyful and inventive. "One for Willie" pays homage to legendary Cleveland arranger and saxophonist Willie Smith, and contains, at its heart, a wonderfully conversational solo from Hayden. "Blues for Pekar" closes the set, the brash, harmonized theme from Krivda and Farinacci leading into soloing bluesy and swinging enough to carry any cartoon Pekar down the street in a proud, if curmudgeonly lope. The jazz is straight-ahead, the scene is down-and-out, the joy is in the moment.


Track Listing: The End of a Love Affair; More Than You Know; Valse Hot; Darn That Dream; Fried Bananas; One for Willie; Blues for Pekar.

Personnel: Ernie Krivda: tenor saxophone; Claude Black: piano; Marion Hayden: bass; Renell Gonsalves: drums; Sean Jones: trumpet; Dominick Farinacci: trumpet, flugelhorn.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Capri Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Ballast" CD/LP/Track Review Ballast
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Trajectoire" CD/LP/Track Review Trajectoire
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: March 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!