121

Randy Simon Jazz Project: Light It Up

By

Sign in to view read count
Randy Simon Jazz Project: Light It Up The Randy Simon Jazz Project is a collection of some of Upstate New York's best and brightest jazz luminaries, all brought together to play the music of the titular Simon. Simon's compositions and arrangements are extraordinary. Complex yet completely accessible, he paints dazzling portraits in sound, creating perfect launching points for his soloists. Light It Up, Simon's fourth album since 2008, continues a run of exceptional albums that present modern jazz at its best. The performers on this album are master craftsmen who bring Simon's compositions to life through skillful interaction and powerful solos.

Simon, who came to music relatively late in life, has proven a musical force with which to be reckoned. Each composition has its own character, evoking a specific style of modern jazz. For example, "Switchbacks" is swinging Art Blakey-esque hard bop; "You Shouldn't Do That" and "Let Me Tell You" contain Burt Bacharach-like unison horn lines; and "Leafing Out" is gentle, flute-driven, and pastoral in a manner that wouldn't sound out of place on Bobbi Humphries album from the early '70s. Yet at no time does Simon dabble in mere pastiche. His compositions betray his wide listening without compromising his originality.

Each track presents the musicians in different instrumental combinations with varying textures and top notch performances. The rhythm section—pianist Adrian Cohen, bassist John Menegon and drummer Danny Whelchel—keeps things moving with its subtle interplay. Cohen, in particular, is one of the Capital region's best jazz soloists, and his contributions to this album maintain his high standards. Pete Bellino turns in some truly inspired solos, especially his flugelhorn solo on "Let Me Tell You." Paul Borrello's vibes are warm and gentle, enlivening each of the four tracks on which he appears. Kevin Barcomb does triple duty, performing on both tenor and soprano saxophones, as well as contributing delicate flute to the aforementioned "Leafing Out." Light It Up proves, once again, that great jazz is being made outside of New York City.


Track Listing: You Shouldn't Do That; Light It Up; Taking Wing; Getting Warmer; Counterflow; Switchbacks; Leafing Out; Let Me Tell You; Keep Walking; Saratoga (Through The Years).

Personnel: Randy Simon: composer, arranger, piano (10); Adrian Cohen: piano; John Menegon: bass; Pete Bellino: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kevin Barcomb: tenor, soprano saxophone, flute; Paul Borrello: vibes; Danny: Whelchel, drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Cuts" CD/LP/Track Review Cuts
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Forage" CD/LP/Track Review Forage
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 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!