529

Joe Locke: For the Love of You

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Locke: For the Love of You Honoring various composers, vibraphonist Joe Locke has led his group for three years in an annual gig at Dizzy's Coca Cola Club in New York. Recently Locke decided to record the output with the happy result being For The Love Of You.

Four top-flight musicians are gathered for this gig—pianist Geoffrey Keezer, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Clarence Penn. Joining the four, little-known vocalist Kenny Washington - Vocals (not to be confused with the renowned drummer of the same name) is the real star here.

How they all got together is an interesting story. Locke met Washington singing in a small venue in Half Moon Bay, Northern California. He was so impressed with what he heard that he decided to collaborate with him in the future. He got the chance during Mancini week at Dizzy's, an event that honored film composer Henry Mancini. This was the beginning of what became a yearly get-together.

After the first year, the program expanded to include the music of other film-score writers, including Johnny Mandel and Ennio Morricone. In 2009, the scope was widened further, bringing in material from pop-rockers the Isley Brothers and Neil Young, along with standards and Locke originals.

Washington is heard on seven of the ten tracks. He has a smooth tenor voice with a four-octave range. At all times, he respects the lyrics. Each number, whether slow ballad or swing, he stays with the story.

In a style akin to Nat "King" Cole, he begins in a mellow mood with Mancini's "Two for the Road." Next the atmosphere warms with a bouncy version of Lane/Harburg's "Old Devil Moon."

The backup from Locke and his crew could not be better. They create a sphere for the vocals to shine while leaving ample space for all to show their solo talents. Three instrumental tracks further emphasize their collective prowess.

A centerpiece of the record is Mandel's "The Shadow of Your Smile." At the start, Penn's up-tempo drumming is effective counterpoint to Washington's leisurely pace. Soon it builds toward an explosive climax. Keezer and Locke further add sparks with torrid solos, and Washington finishes with a coda that vividly shows off his wide range.

Of the instrumentals, Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso" is a winner. Mraz's stately bowed-bass opening gives way to dreamy solos by Locke and Keezer. Mraz concludes the piece with a lovely pizzicato flourish.

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 Washington: vocals.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: E1 Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "MG50 Peace & Fire" CD/LP/Track Review MG50 Peace & Fire
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Solo Gemini" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Gemini
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!