West Coast drummer Lorca Hart presents a collection of vibrant traditional jazz on the exciting Colors of Jazz
, from the Lorca Hart Trio augmented by saxophonist Ralph Moore
. Offering a mix of original compositions with four cover tunes, the canvas of nine sparkling pieces paints a portrait that's far more than pleasing to the ear, it's quite compelling. Originally from Taos, New Mexico and son of jazz great and drummer Billy Hart
, Hart is an in-demand player and educator at many venues in Southern California.
A terrific session of traditional straight-ahead jazz at its best, Hart fashions an album that certainly touches on the various colors of the music without stretching the boundaries, just sticking to the core of the genre. His two band mates in the trio are bassist Edwin Livingston
, a West Coast and industry musician playing on various TV shows as well as movie sound tracks, and piano man Josh Nelson
a former accompanist for the late great Natalie Cole
as well as other prominent jazz players. The leader augments the trio on this recording, by bringing in London-born Moore, another industry player on the West Coast and former player with the Tonight Show Orchestra.
The music kicks off with the leader's rumblings on the intro to "Blues Alliance," a Moore composition taking off in fabulous boppish style with Moore leading the music on one tenor solo after another. The Nelson original "Introspection on the 401," is a lighter piece of music, softer in tone but ever enchanting and a highlight of the album.
The bassist also weighs in with an original of his own on the brief but perky "Dayne," where the band plays fiercely behind the leader's constant pounding and the pianist's handy key work for a hard bop moment. The group performs the first of the four covers on the classic Jimmy Van Heusen tune "Here's That Rainy Day," providing a beautiful interpretation of the time-honored standard.
The uncommon Kenny Barron
tune "Dew Drop," the ballad of the set, is perhaps the soft spot of the session featuring Nelson on a delicious mellow solo followed by another humbling sound from guest Moore wielding his tenor with a bit of grace and charm, a track where the drums are silent.
The guys decide to let it all hang out on Joe Henderson
's dicey "Mojoe," giving plenty of space for the members of the band to get wild on a showcase number where the leader's chops on the drums, are well in display. The group comes down to earth on the mellow "Duke and Billy," finding Hart on the brushes as the saxophonist stays mellow himself and the pianist lends his own touch of kindness to the keys.
The last cover tune, Thelonius Monk
's "Bye Ya," serves as the band's swan song going out in bluesy fashion with Nelson and the bassist delivering sprite solo moments as the unselfish leader weighs in himself to end a wonderful session of jazz on Colors of Jazz
Blues Alliance; Introspection On the 401; Dayne; Here's That Rainy Day; Discoveries; Dew Drop; Mojoe; Duke and Billy; Bye Ya.