144

Jim Rotondi: Destination Up

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
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


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Broken Artist" CD/LP/Track Review Broken Artist
by James Nadal
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Strunkin'" CD/LP/Track Review Strunkin'
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "You'll See" CD/LP/Track Review You'll See
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Pale White Shout" CD/LP/Track Review Pale White Shout
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!