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Dutch-born bassist Joris Teepe lined up some of the most impressive young talent in New York for his debut release on the newly revived Postcards label. Recorded live at Small's, the late-night musicians' hangout in Greenwich Village, the album captures Teepe and a formidable front line of saxophonists Don Braden and Chris Potter, along with in-demand pianist David Hazeltine and drummer Bruce Cox, in a spirited set of up-to-the-minute New York jazz.
Teepe - a former student of Ron Carter and Peter Washington, whose resume includes stints with Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker and Renee Rosnes - kicks things off with a lively reading of the Billy Strayhorn classic, "Chelsea Bridge," featuring fine solo turns by Hazeltine and Potter. Teepe's bass takes the lead on a trio version of "You Don't Know What Love Is," before giving way to the supremely elegant Hazeltine. Other standards include a langorous take on Paul Simon's "I Do It For Your Love" and a full-throttle assault on Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring."
Teepe's original compositions range from the tender "Five Bears," based on a Dutch folk tune, to the hard-bop attack of the title track. The stellar saxophones of Potter and Braden square off energetically on "Second Avenue Story," an expansive, Coltrane-esque number, and again on "Blues for Claudia, a trio performance propelled by the leader's lyrical bass. There is wonderful improvisatory work from all the band members throughout the 70-minute session, with the interplay between the two saxophonists worthy of special mention. All in all, a memorable evening of jazz from five of the better young musicians around.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.