On Full Circle Vol 2, Albany, New York-based drummer Cliff Brucker and friends reach back to the swing and bop jazz periods to showcase their talents on a set of first-rate standards. These musicians clearly understand the bop trade and what emerges from their collective knowledge is solid and assured music. The entire affair is like a stroll around a familiar block. The arrangements have an early-60s feel. Think of a party with the Rat Pack.
Brucker's steady and solid pacing anchors the music; his well-timed rolls and snare smacks emphasize the swing and bop beats. He is joined by saxophonist Leo Russo, trumpet/flugelhorn player Dylan Canterbury (who penned the title cut), guitarist Mike Novakowski and bassist Otto Gardner. Brucker uses two pianists on the album. Larry Ham plays on eight numbers and Pet Levin three.
Brucker receives fine contributions from the rest of his ensemble. Ham offers some bright and bluesy piano solos. Case in pointhis work on the Sonny Rollins's tune "Airegin." Gardner plays a nice solo on Klenner"s "Just Friends." And don't miss Novakowski's gentle blues chords on Claire Fischer's "Pensativa" and the licks he adds on the Fats Navarro number "Nostalgia."
Even though Levin appears in only three numbers, he makes his time count. His work on the Bennie Golson tune "Step Lightly" consists of blues melodies and triplets that add excitement to the piece.
Levin also offers a dancing opening to Canterbury's "Full Circle," the highlight of the album. The happy tune features some tight playing between Russo's tenor and Canterbury's muted trumpet, and Russo offers a smooth and gliding solo. Gardner walks the bass while Brucker adds rhythmic flourishes underneath. The song suggests a boat ride across a lake, the scenery whistling by in a bright afternoon sun. As you dock and disembark for dinner, you may askwhere's Dino and a martini? Enjoy.
The Song Is You; Airegin; Laura; Just Friends; Emily; Deception; Pensativa; Crazyology; Nostalgia; Step Lightly; Full Circle.
Cliff Brucker: drums; Leo Russo: tenor sax; Larry Ham: piano; Pete Levin: piano, Dylan Canterbury: trumpet, flugelhorn; Otto Gardner: bass; Mike Novakowski: guitar.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.