Jerrold Dubyk helpfully defines the title of his third album, Invitations, as "an often formal request to be present or participate." Pedantic jazz fans (and there are many) might wish to point out that the definition refers to the singular, while the title is plural. The less pedantic might simply wish to shake their heads, reflect that there are far more important things to worry about and get on with enjoying the musicfor there is much music to enjoy.
Dubyk is a tenor saxophonist with a bright, clear, tone and a melodic style: mainstream jazz with a graceful and relaxed sensibility. The rhythm section playerspianist Brad Turner, bassist Jodi Proznick and drummer Jesse Cahillshare this relaxed approach and thus provide a sympathetic underpinning for the front line of Dubyk and trumpeter Terell Stafford. There are displays of energy and power toothe up-tempo "What Do You Want From Me?" is the most notable example, with Proznick and Cahill's assertive playing getting suitably punchy responses, especially from Stafford.
Invitations features three covers alongside Dubyk's own tunes. Joe Henderson's "Afro Centric" and Sam Rivers' "Beatrice" open proceedings, "Afro Centric" is a mid-tempo example of Dubyk and Stafford's chemistry, while the lovely "Beatrice" and "Vulnerability" (by Victor Lewis) find both men in a mellower mood.
Dubyk's own tunes range from the energetic "What Do You Want From Me?" through the tough, swinging, "Return Of The Underdog" to the New Orleans-inspired "Every Sinner Has A Future," the meditative groove of "Invitations" and the spiritual vibe of "Every Saint Has A Past." Each tune is strong, a testament to Dubyk's skills as a writer, with the quiet reflection of "Every Saint Has A Past" making a particularly long-lasting impression.
Afrocentric; Beatrice; Invitations; Every Saint Has a Past; Every Sinner Has a Future; Return of the Underdog; Vulnerability; What Do You Want From Me?