New York tenor saxophonist Carmen Leggio has performed with the likes of Gene Krupa, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman and Maynard Ferguson. This self-titled quartet recording finds the veteran reedman swinging hard on eleven standards done in a no-nonsense, straight-ahead manner. Leggio is joined by guitar great Joe Cohn, bassist Rick Petrone and drummer Joe Corsello.
Leggio rips through familiar themes like "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," "It Had to Be You" and "Emily" with assuredness, speaking through his horn with a lyrical ease reserved for the most seasoned of players. The saxophonists pronounced, in-the-pocket phrasing on "Gone With The Wind" is reminiscent of Stan Getz.
Cohn plays the dual role of sensitive accompanist and inventive soloist. His piano-style comping behind Leggio on "You Go to My Head" expands one's expectations of the guitar's capabilities. Cohn's brilliant single-line soloing on the Leggio burner "Lose One-Gain One" and the classic ballad "Embraceable You" is evidence of bop mastery.
Petrone and Corsello keep things moving along with impeccable time and soulful grooves. Petrone's warm tone and lively lines sparkle on "Black Orpheus" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams."
The session closer, "Undecided" is an energetic romp with inspired trading between Leggio and Cohn. An all around wonderful recording, the disc beckons for repeated listening.
Track Listing: Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise; Lose One-Gain One; It Had to Be You; Black Orpheus; Emily; Gone With The Wind; You Go to My Head; Embraceable You; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; Sing, Sing, Sing; Undecided.
Personnel: Carmen Leggio: tenor saxophone; Joe Cohn: guitar; Rick Petrone: bass; Joe Corsello: drums.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.