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.

Title: For the Love of You | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: E1 Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

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 Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Fugitive Beauté" CD/LP/Track Review Fugitive Beauté
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Trane 90" CD/LP/Track Review Trane 90
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 1, 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.