Over the past decade Joe Locke has become one of the most heralded vibraphonists on the jazz scene. For this CD, Locke is joined by pianist Geoffrey Keezer, bassist George Mraz, drummer Clarence Penn and vocalist Kenny Washington - Vocals, who is featured generously throughout. Locke heard Washington performing at Half Moon Bay in California and invited him to join his band for a set at Dizzy's Club in 2007, an event that has since taken place annually.
Washington is a soulful yet subtle tenor who doesn't get carried away with showing off, instead focusing on embellishing great lyrics ever so slightly. Following a leisurely stroll through "Two For the Road," the band swings through the old chestnut "Old Devil Moon" with generous features for all. The tense Latin backdrop for Washington in the breezy setting of "The Shadow of Your Smile" beautifully updates this decades-old favorite while Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso" features Mraz's warm arco playing in this romantic ballad.
There are also a few surprises. The Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You" is transformed into a viable jazz ballad, suggesting a sunset with someone special. Neil Young's "Birds" is the most unlikely tune, but Locke's understated arrangement makes it work, Washington doing his part with a spacious relaxed vocal. Locke also includes two originals, the tender "Verrazano Moon" and the driving post-bopper "Bright Side Up."
Track Listing: Two For The Road; Old Devil Moon; For The Love Of You; Verrazano Moon; I Miss New York
(When I Been Gone Too Long); Birds; The Shadow Of Your Smile; Cinema Paradiso; Pure
Imagination; Bright Side Up.
Personnel: Joe Locke: vibes; Geoffrey Keezer: piano; George Mraz: bass; Clarence Penn: drums; Kenny
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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