129

Scott Whitfield Quintet Featuring Bob Florence: Live at Charlie O's

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Whitfield Quintet Featuring Bob Florence: Live at Charlie O's Besides leading two big bands, one on either coast, trombonist Scott Whitfield has put together a killer quintet that gigs regularly in the Los Angeles area and whose energy and enthusiasm come through loud and clear on this enjoyable concert date taped at Charlie O's nightclub in North Hollywood.

Whitfield's special guest on this happy occasion is another bandleader of note, Bob Florence, who divides time at the keyboard (four tracks apiece) with John Rangel. In terms of technique, tastefulness and proficiency, there's not much to choose between them, as each one is a resourceful improviser and attentive accompanist. Whitfield shares the front line with yet another bandleader, Roger Neumann, whose muscular tenor sax has a biting edge reminiscent of Illinois Jacquet, Don Byas or Jimmy Forrest at faster tempos, yet is near-Getzian on the ballads. Drummer Kendall Kay is the group's indispensable cheerleader, bassist Jennifer Leitham its unerring pulse.

Whitfield's solos are agile and exuberant but always purposeful, and clearly more influenced by Carl Fontana and Frank Rosolino than, say, J.J. Johnson or Bill Harris. The group performs Rosolino's charming waltz "Blue Daniel, along with four of Whitfield's original compositions and a trio of standards. The leader, who was once a member of the popular vocal group the Pied Pipers, sings on two of them—"Let's Get Lost and "You Go to My Head —and while he won't cause Tony Bennett to lose any sleep, his unpretentious voice and casual delivery are convincing in their own way. He sings on-key, has a sharp rhythmic sense and scats adeptly on "Let's Get Lost.

Whitfield's third hat is as composer/arranger, and it suits him every bit as well as the others. The breezy "Postage Due is immediately spellbinding, as are "A Message from the Captain, "Sunset Dreams and "Spring's Kiss, the last based on Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are (and featuring Neumann on soprano sax). Speaking of last, the quintet exits with panache, exuding ardor and intensity on the venerable "Bye Bye Blues. Again, the solos are splendid, and one mustn't overlook Leitham's contributions in that area, as they are consistently impressive.

One of life's great pleasures lies in seeing and hearing jazz musicians on the bandstand, interacting, working things out and sharing the happiness and camaraderie when it all comes together. If one can't be there, perhaps the next best thing is listening to the result, as one can do on Live at Charlie O's. This is an exhilarating concert that you may enjoy (more than once) in your own living room or den.

Visit Scott Whitfield on the web.

Track Listing: Postage Due; Blue Daniel; A Message from the Captain; Let

Personnel: Scott Whitfield: trombone, vocal (4,7); Roger Neumann: tenor, soprano saxophone, flute; John Rangel (1,4,5,7): piano; Jennifer Leitham: bass; Kendall Kay: drums. Special guest: Bob Florence (2,3,6,8): piano.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Summit Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read "My Tongue Crumbles After" CD/LP/Track Review My Tongue Crumbles After
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Uptown Down" CD/LP/Track Review Uptown Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "With Due Respect" CD/LP/Track Review With Due Respect
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 8, 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!