To call themselves The Winners in the ever-popular, ever-growing world of instrumental jazz is like a young punk group daring to lay hold to the name Better Than Beatles, right? Well, that may be so. But equally probable, after one night with, or one listen to, The Winners is a sense that perhaps there's more to the moniker than sheer, staggering pomposity. Indeed, the music doesn't reflect any sort of braggardly boastful eclecticism. What is given out of these 63 minutes and long 7 tracks is smooth jazz that is destined to be heard at night time. The cd pictures are all shrouded in darkness. And that is the city life effort this release evokes.
Franco Ambrosetti, trumpet, flugelhorn Thierry Lang, piano Heiri Kanzig, bass Peter Schmidlin, drums
Together they play as four individuals who've shown that each knows where the other has parked. In Kaper/Webster's 'Invitation' excitement is in the air while never ever flitting out of the soft self-style they have set up for themselves through the opening, highly sensual 'Autumn Leaves.' These are flips sides of the same single, or should be, with 'Autumn Leaves' coming with muted Miles Davis character, and wringing every last ounce of sex appeal out of a few well-chosen notes.
The crowd applauds the set not wildly, but as hypnotic victims will: bold appreciation that doesn't come in waves of loud mouths, but by soft hands that are still into the nuances working their vibrations through the air. Who wants to interrupt that?
1. Autumn Leaves 2. Invitation 3. In Your Own Sweet Way 4. My Foolish Heart 5. Summertime 6. The Days of Wine and Roses 7. If I Should Loose You
Being a full Mancini fan myself, track 6 is one of the ones I had to go for first. Regardless of how many times you've heard the tune, there's always something new to extract from it. Franco's beginning treatment exudes the romanticism so dominant in this classic song, and then the rest of the boys take over. Well, some say that it's not jazz unless you don't recognize the tune. So, my friends, welcome to the jazz...... Great though simple arrangement, it must be admitted. Like 2 a.m. improvisation, it just gets better and more heated as it rolls along. Not fast, but hot. Dig?
This is just one more goodie to be found on the Montreux Jazz Label. But it IS Dracula music, so careful you don't get it in the sunlight.