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
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
piano
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Bobby Hutcherson Bobby Hutcherson
vibraphone
Mike Mainieri Mike Mainieri
vibraphone
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson
vibraphone
Ralph Towner Ralph Towner
guitar
Astor Piazzolla Astor Piazzolla
bandoneon
Stefon Harris Stefon Harris
vibraphone
Teddy Charles Teddy Charles
vibraphone
Steve Nelson Steve Nelson
vibraphone

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 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!

Buy it!