A couple of alto saxophones, wailing sweet and lovely on Charles Mingus' "Nostalgia in Times Square," open up Washington, DC-based bassist Joshua Bayer's New Voice: Old Voice. The rhythm sectionBayer, drummer Luther Gray and keyboardist Bob Sykesinject a propulsive light touch into the swing; Sykes' Fender Rhodes floats in with a vibraphone-like sound.
Bayer's last effort, the fine Lines and Grooves (JazzHeads, '03), waswith the exception of Gershwin's "Prelude"an all-original quartet outing that paid tribute to a short list of jazz greats. The crisp, swinging affair featured saxophonist Marty Nau out front. For New Voice: Old Voice, the quartet remains the same, with the additon of Lyle Link on alto sax.
Half of the tunes showcase Bayer's compostional talents. The bassist/composer wields an ebullient pen, crafting upbeat, bright tunes remiscent of the Dave Brubeck or Vince Guaraldi approachthough the Brubeck feeling may come as much from the Paul Desmond "sound of a dry martini" mode that altoists Nau and Link employ. In additon to the Mingus opener, the covers include Vince Guaraldi's "Skating," Sam Rivers' "Beatrice," Scott Joplin's "Bethena's Bridge" and Jerry Bock's "Matchmaker Matchmaker."
Like Bayer's last effort, New Voice: Old Voice presents his clean, swinging, straight-ahead approach to jazz. This fresh-sounding, forward-looking disc advances a step with the addition of Lyle Link on alto.
Track Listing: Nostalgia in Times Square; Skating; Off Kilter; Matchmaker Matchmaker; New Voice; Society's
Blue; Beatrice; Bethena's Bridge; Bounce; Old Voice.
Personnel: Joshua Bayer: bass; Bob Sykes: piano and rhodes; Marty Nau: saxophone; Lyle Link:
saxophone; Luther Gray: drums.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.