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.

Title: Light It Up | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Under the Influence" CD/LP/Track Review Under the Influence
by Doug Collette
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Outside In" CD/LP/Track Review Outside In
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Langen ro" CD/LP/Track Review Langen ro
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.