All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

233

Mike LeDonne: FiveLive

By

Sign in to view read count
Man, where the heck was I on Oct. 19th-20th 2007? I can't recall offhand my exact whereabouts, but it doesn't matter because I certainly wasn't present at the popular Upper West Side jazz haunt Smoke to experience the excellent sets that resulted in pianist Mike LeDonne's new live release FiveLive.

LeDonne, who holds down a weekly gig at Smoke as the leader of a Hammond B-3 organ-driven groove session, delivers an extremely satisfying and eclectic hard bop experience with this record, one of the best live releases of the year so far. Joined by four of New York's finest professional players that you're likely to catch around the city in various combos on any given night, LeDonne and crew stretch out on eight tracks consisting of both jazz standards and LeDonne originals, as well as one imaginatively reworked pop tune: Stevie Wonder's "You and I." That track definitely serves as the jewel of this disc. Not only is it a highly original and refreshing selection to cover, it gets an equally unique arrangement that features three different tempos over the course of its eight-minute running time.

LeDonne gets strong support throughout from his bandmates, featuring the horns of Eric Alexander (tenor sax) and Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), as well as the rhythm section of John Webber and Joe Farnsworth. The group sounds extremely pleased and this is most apparent on the slightly modal, up-tempo disc opener "Encounter," a LeDonne-penned re-imagining of "Love For Sale." An additional highlight is yet another interesting version of a standard in LeDonne's reinterpretation of Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca."

The pianist does his best personal work of all, however, on a way-slowed down, dreamy reading of Ellington's "I've Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." Again, had I been at Smoke during this romantic number (and in the proper company), it could have turned into a very magical night! All of the selections are at least six minutes, giving the musicians plenty of time to give those in attendance and now (most importantly) the listeners of this CD their money's worth and more. This album confirms the fact that Mike LeDonne is absolutely one of the must-see jazz artists working in the city today.

Track Listing: Encounter; You and I; Hands; Good Times; Manteca; I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good); Little M; Bleeker Street Theme.

Personnel: Mike LeDonne: piano; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Jeremy Pelt: trumpet; John Webber: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Title: FiveLive | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Savant Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
That Feelin'

That Feelin'

Savant Records
2016

buy
AwwlRight!

AwwlRight!

Savant Records
2015

buy
I Love Music

I Love Music

Savant Records
2014

buy
Keep the Faith

Keep the Faith

Savant Records
2011

buy
Mike LeDonne: The Groover

Mike LeDonne: The...

Savant Records
2010

buy
The Groover

The Groover

Savant Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Brother Raymond CD/LP/Track Review
Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Frescalalto CD/LP/Track Review
Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018
Read El Duende CD/LP/Track Review
El Duende
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Autumn Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Autumn Wind
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 15, 2017