South Florida Jazz Orchestra: Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick MargitzaBy
Margitza's compositions are contemporary but not unconventional, picturesque but not pretentious. The first eight of the album's nine tracks are Margitza originals, the last his zephyr-like arrangement of the Gershwin brothers' "Embraceable You," traces of whose melody can also be heard in Margitza's "45 Pound Hound." Besides writing every chart, Margitza solos on every number, lending the album a considerable amount of its improvisational weight. Speaking of melody, Margitza hits that mark squarely with the graceful "Premonition," and again with his handsomely built "Walls." The upbeat but off-kilter "Sometimes I Have Rhythm" is (presumably) another Gershwin contrafact, albeit quite well-disguised, showcasing the superb trumpeter Greg Gisbert. A second trumpet master, Brian Lynch, grabs the leash on the affable "45 Pound Hound."
As for the SFJO, it is smooth and efficient: brass and reeds in lock-step, rhythm section (pianist Martin Bejerano, guitarist John Hart, bassist Bergeron, drummer John Yarling) alert and supportive. Bejerano solos on "The Place to Be," "Premonition," Walls" and "Embraceable You" (notable as well for Margitza's jaw-dropping soli), Hart on "Cheap Thrills," "Widow's Walk" and (with Yarling) on the rhythmic "Brace Yourself." Margitza and the SFJO have formed an admirable partnership, and while Cheap Thrills does provide its fair share of the latter, not one of them is cheap or indifferent. Easily recommended.
Cheap Thrills; The Place To Be; Widow's Walk; Brace Yourself; 45 Pound Hound; Premonition; Walls; Sometimes I Have Rhythm; Embraceable You
The South Florida Jazz Orchestra: band/orchestra; Rick Margitza: saxophone, tenor; Martin Bejerano: piano; John Hart: guitar; Chuck Bergeron: bass; John Yarling: drums; Brian Lynch: trumpet; John Daversa: trumpet; Jared Hall: trumpet; Alex Norris: trumpet; Ed Calle: saxophone; Mike Brignola: saxophone, baritone; David Leon: saxophone; Phil Doyle: saxophone; Haden Mapel: trombone; Xavier Desandre Navarre: percussion; Greg Gisbert: trumpet; Gary Keller: flute; Gary Lindsay: saxophone; Jason Kush: saxophone.
Additional trumpets: Jason Carder, Pewter's Francis, Augie Haas, Jesus Mato, Dante Juciani, John Kricker, Andrew Peal, Major Bailey.
Title: Cheap Thrills: The Music Of Rick Margitza | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Summit Records
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