Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
144

Jim Rotondi: Destination Up

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count Views
Jim Rotondi: Destination Up Among the current crop of mainstream jazz trumpeters, Jim Rotondi stands head and shoulders above the crowd. With a crackling extroverted style akin to that of Lee Morgan, Rotondi possesses an incisive harmonic sense and the knack for telling a story. Via his work with the hard bop collective One For All and a reliable set of albums as a leader for Criss Cross, Rotondi has emerged as a major talent deserving of wider recognition.

Rotondi’s first release for Sharp Nine also happens to be among his best to date, feeling very much like a classic in the making. That should come as no surprise considering the ensemble makeup, with the trumpeter sharing lead with vibraphonist Joe Locke. In the same way that Bobby Hutcherson added so much to classic Blue Notes such as Grant Green’s Idle Moments or Joe Henderson’s Mode For Joe, Locke provides a lush carpet that enhances the advanced charts. Holding down the fort, Mulgrew Miller, Peter Washington, and Joe Farnsworth form a tight-knit rhythm team, with the latter two gentlemen especially familiar with Rotondi’s modus operandi.

It’s another old buddy, trombonist/composer Steve Davis who sits in on two tracks and contributes one of the date’s finest compositions, “Evening Shades of Blue.” Typical of Davis’ distinguished writing, this long form tune with a catchy tag is the longest performance of the disc and allows all key members a chance to stretch out at length. Equally enticing are three tunes from Rotondi’s pen, including the bop-tinged “Designated Hitter,” a bluesy tribute to Mulgrew Miller entitled “Miller Time,” and the lovely waltz “Reverence.”

As for appreciating Rotondi’s maturity as a soloist, look no farther than “Park Avenue Petite,” a ballad feature that finds the trumpeter taking his time, looking for the silence between phrases, and holding our interest in a way that only the finest improvisers can. In similar fashion, Rotondi avoids the flashy technical displays and other trite inventions and maybe that’s what makes Destination Up such a keeper.


Track Listing: Designated Hitter, Evening Shades of Blue, Last Ditch Wisdom, Miller Time, Park Avenue Petite, Remember, Reverence, Yams

Personnel: Jim Rotondi (trumpet, flugelhorn), Joe Locke (vibes), Steve Davis (trombone),Mulgrew Miller (piano), Peter Washington (bass), Joe Farnsworth (drums)

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Sharp Nine Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Dark Blue
Dark Blue
Smoke Sessions
2016
buy
1000 Rainbows
1000 Rainbows
Posi-Tone Records
2010
buy
Iron Man
Iron Man
Criss Cross
2006
buy
The Pleasure Dome
The Pleasure Dome
Sharp Nine Records
2004
buy
New Vistas
New Vistas
Criss Cross
2004
buy
Destination Up
Destination Up
Sharp Nine Records
2001
buy
Roy Hargrove Roy Hargrove
trumpet
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Marcus Printup Marcus Printup
trumpet
Ron Carter Ron Carter
bass
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Johnny Griffin Johnny Griffin
sax, tenor
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
sax, tenor

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.