243

Chris Colangelo: Elaine's Song

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Colangelo: Elaine's Song Representing the second album in a decade for Los Angeles-based bassist Chris Colangelo, Elaine's Song documents seven original compositions that he has been working on for two years; time well spent, considering the caliber of the charts. Though the originals are the meat of this musical endeavor, the most ambitious piece of the album, "Falling Grace" is borrowed from bassist Steve Swallow, and provides the bassist a platform to showcase his acoustic bass chops. The other non-original tune in the repertoire is a very lively rendition of John Coltrane's "Straight Street," featuring Los Angeles reed master Bob Sheppard, howling on soprano saxophone. As good as the two standards fare here, it is Colangelo's original work that defines this disc as exceptional.

The album kicks off with, perhaps, the best chart: the up-tempo "The Ubiquitous One," sporting a light groove introduced by the bassist, Sheppard and drummer Steve Hass, which takes off with soulful play by Sheppard, as pianist John Beasley lays down the melody. "Like Kenny (For Kenny Garrett)," one of the bassist's favorite players, features Zane Musa on a heavy alto expression, later joined by the drummer and tenor saxophonist Benn Clatworthy on a rumble in an essentially hard-bop burner. A tune dear to Colangelo's heart is the title track, penned for his wife, which provides an opportunity for Beasley and Sheppard to dance around the leader's firm bass line.

Clatworthy leads on "Green And Blue," this time producing fluid flute lines and setting up a delicate bass solo leading Clatworthy to float his flute to the finish. "Gryffindor's Revenge" is a quick-paced, straight-ahead jazz piece performed in a standard piano trio format, with Beasley and Hass cooking it. Another dedication to a friend, "Watts Important (For Jeff "Tain" Watts)," is yet another outstanding original, offering Hass a platform to feature his more than adequate skills on the skins.

Colangelo saves his last original for the finale, with Sheppard returning on "From Dark To Light" and providing soft tenor glows on this post-bop ballad, topping off at nine-and-a-half minutes to close a truly wonderful session of contemporary jazz. Elaine's Song is a gem of a recording, which stands out not so much for the musicianship, but for the quality of the music. Colangelo is undoubtedly a very fine bassist, but this project is more a testament to his skills as a composer and arranger than his performance as a bassist; altogether, some excellent session work.

Track Listing: The Ubiquitous One; Like Kenny; Elaine's Song; Green and Blue; Gryffindor's Revenge; Watt's Important; Falling Grace; Straight Street; From Dark to Light.

Personnel: Chris Colangelo: acoustic bass; John Beasley: piano; Bob Sheppard: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Benn Clatworthy: tenor saxophone, flute; Zane Musa: alto saxophone; Steve Hass: drums.

Title: Elaine's Song | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "My Picture" CD/LP/Track Review My Picture
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Concert Of The Century" CD/LP/Track Review Concert Of The Century
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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