233

Mike LeDonne: FiveLive

By

Sign in to view read count
Mike LeDonne: FiveLive 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

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Beyond The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 2, 2016

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.