Tenor saxophonist Rich Corpolongo has been a presence on the Chicago jazz scene for several years, during which time he has solidified his base as a performer. In the early days, he played with Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris and Gary Burton, among others, going on to form his own band, which played several times at the Chicago Jazz Festival. But jazz is not his only calling; he has also performed with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Opera House Orchestra.
Corpolongo is at ease in any setting. He envisages time and development in his own vision, an approach that gives his music a fresh dimensiona trait largely evident on Get Happy.
The music is bookended by two Charlie Parker compositions. Corpolongo takes "Chi Chi" through different stages, moving from lightly swinging tonality to a deeper, hard bop groove, before engaging drummer Rusty Jones in a conversation. He revels in the melody of "Dewey Square," and fills the ambiance with more than a waft of fresh air.
"Body and Soul" is caressed warmly. Corpolongo's intonation is deep, and filled with intense emotion. The dynamics underscore his sensitivity, as he develops the theme and fills it with lucent asides, as he turns this into an extraordinary performance.
Snap and crackle invest "Get Happy," which Corpolongo takes into a joyous realm with unabashed relish. He is in high gear as he drives the song to a near rapturous feel, with Jones and bassist Dan Shapera adding their own daubs with relish.
Corpolongo is still in the groove, making music with heartfelt detail.
Track Listing: Chi Chi; Mangoes; Body and Soul; Without a Song; The Boy next Door; Get Happy; Wrap your Troubles in Dreams; Lullaby of the Leaves; Dewey Square.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.