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 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 "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Garden 2nd Set" CD/LP/Track Review Garden 2nd Set
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Bactrian" CD/LP/Track Review Bactrian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017

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!