149

Royce Campbell: Get Happy

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Royce Campbell: Get Happy Guitarist Royce Campbell collected songs with happy themes for this trio recording. Featuring violinist Joe Kennedy (1923-2004), the session swings in the mood intended, with an acoustic timbre and an open resonance to match. String jazz gets too little attention; yet, the violin has been with jazz since its inception. Guitar and double-bass remain integral elements of the jazz mainstream today, but violin has been removed far away to its peripheral edges.

One of the first violinists to champion bebop, Kennedy toured on the US East Coast, and recorded in the 1940s with like-minded artists including pianist Ahmad Jamal, bassist Edgar Willis and guitarist Ray Crawford. In more recent times, he gave string jazz added credibility through Four Generations of Jazz Violin, matching wits with fellow violinists Johnny Frigo, Darol Anger, Matt Glaser and Sara Caswell. Get Happy, however, marks Kennedy's last recording. With Campbell and bassist Paul Langosch, he shows some of the joy that followed him everywhere.

Kennedy's plucked notes mark the music's syncopation clearly, as he opens the album with "I Want to Be Happy in an accented dash. Throughout the session, his violin takes charge. His bowed lines enable him to express seamless phrases that imply a broad range of emotions. Opening "Smile with an extended cadenza, the violinist draws passion back and forth. He interacts with Campbell and Langosch intently, encouraging a give-and-take attitude that allows the music to swell.

Each of the three artists takes a turn at the solo mic, reinforcing ideas that have been planted by one or the other. Campbell's guitar swings in a light and festive aura and Langosch's deep bass carries the trio's rhythmic bounce. Together, the three artists warm to a rewarding session; trading fours, taking extended rides and collaborating intuitively. As the album's title track states implicitly, there is plenty to be happy about when it comes to good jazz.


Track Listing: I Want to Be Happy; Pick Yourself Up; Joyous Blues; Im On a Cloud; Get Happy; Im Beginning to See the Light; SWonderful; Smile; Happy Rhythm; Beautiful Friendship.

Personnel: Royce Campbell: guitar; Joe Kennedy: violin; Paul Langosch: double-bass.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Fox Haven | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Saints and Sinners" CD/LP/Track Review Saints and Sinners
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "We Are The World" CD/LP/Track Review We Are The World
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Gold
by Jim Olin
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Fake It Until You Make It" CD/LP/Track Review Fake It Until You Make It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Andando el Tiempo" CD/LP/Track Review Andando el Tiempo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!