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Album Review

Jorge Garcia: Dedicated to You

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Jorge Garcia: Dedicated to You
Gigi Gryce's turbo-charged "Minority," which opens Cuban-born guitarist Jorge Garcia's Dedicated to You, serves as a reminder of how much talent the world lost when alto saxophonist Richie Cole died in May 2020. And if that weren't enough to persuade any doubters, the vibrant "This One's for Richie" (based, appropriately, on the standard "There Will Never Be Another You") readily affirms that opinion. While, alas, those are the only tracks on which Cole performs, they alone make the album well worth the listener's time.

Elsewhere, Garcia teams with harmonica virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens on Garcia's "With You Always" and with vocalist Wendy Pedersen on a fast-moving version of Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg's "Over the Rainbow." Garcia doesn't command center stage until the last three numbers, Cy Coleman's "You Fascinate Me So," the Gershwin brothers' "S'Wonderful" and his heartfelt finale, "Dedicated to You." Once there, he shows that the session's instrumental talents are by no means limited to Cole or Meurkens. Working with smaller groups—including pianist Paul Banman on the groovy "You Fascinate Me"—Garcia shows splendid technique, abundant creative power and an unflagging tendency to swing.

Even so, it is Cole whose electrifying solos lend the album its singular identity, even if only for a couple of numbers. Everything else is admirable but essentially a postscript to Cole's towering presence. That's not meant to put anyone down; as noted, Garcia, Meurkens and the others are quite respectable, and Dedicated to You is pleasing from start to finish—even though one can't hide a wish that there were more to enjoy (the playing time is a meager twenty-eight minutes, something to consider when appraising its over-all merit). High marks, however, for the generally underrated and greatly missed Richie Cole.

Track Listing

Minority; This One’s for Richie; With You Always; Over the Rainbow; You Fascinate Me So; S’Wonderful; Dedicated to You.

Personnel

Jorge Garcia: guitar, electric; Richie Cole: saxophone, alto; Hendrik Meurkens: harmonica; Rick Doll: bass, acoustic; James Cotmon: drums; Jamie Ousley: bass; Gino Castillo: percussion; John Yarling: drums; Paul Banman: piano; Wendy Pedersen: voice / vocals.

Album information

Title: Dedicated to You | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Self Produced


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