3

Richie Cole: Pittsburgh

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Richie Cole: Pittsburgh After a lifetime of movin' on that has taken him from Trenton, NJ, to cities, towns and hamlets across the country and around the world, it seems that alto saxophonist Richie Cole, now fifty-eight, is at last ready to settle down and plant some roots. As he declares in his latest album's opening number, "I Have a Home in Pittsburgh"—and there's a palpable sense that this time he means it. If Cole's wandering days are indeed behind him, what remains constant is the warm and happy sound of his alto, the centerpiece of what is essentially a quintet session whose sidemen are presumably from the Pittsburgh area.

As always, Cole seems to be having a ton of fun, and as always, his choice of music is eclectic and predictably off-center, meandering from such disparate standards as "I'll Be Seeing You," "Flying Down to Rio," "The Gypsy" and "Tomorrow" (from the Broadway smash Annie) to Benny Carter's sumptuous samba, "Key Largo," and a trio of his own sunny compositions, "I Have a Home in Pittsburgh," "Who's the Man Corrupting Richie Cole" (co-written with drummer Reid Hoyson) and "Happy Valentine's Day, Candace."

"Home" opens as a ballad before upshifting into a buoyant foxtrot on which Cole shows that time has beclouded neither his admirable technique nor his deep storehouse of engaging ideas. Guitarist Mark Lucas and pianist Jeff Lashway add spirited solos, setting the stage for the true ballad, "I'll Be Seeing You," the rhythmic Astaire / Rogers staple, "Flying Down to Rio," and British songwriter Billy Reid's mega-hit from 1946, "The Gypsy" ("In a quaint caravan . . ."), on which Lashway briefly channels another Pittsburgh legend, the late Erroll Garner. "Who's the Man" is a delightful romp with free and easy solos by Cole (who is last in line), Lucas, Lashway, Hoyson and bassist Jeff Grubbs, "Key Largo" a breath of Latin fresh air on which Cole is at his easygoing best. After offering his heartfelt valentine to "Candace," Cole wraps things up with the earnest and uplifting anthem, "Tomorrow." Here as elsewhere, Cole's bandmates are vigilant and supportive.

Welcome home, Richie. Pittsburgh seems to be a good fit—for your talents and your heart. And once you've settled in, fans can look forward to a rebirth of the Alto Madness Orchestra, Pittsburgh-style.

Track Listing: I Have a Home in Pittsburgh; I’ll Be Seeing You; Flying Down to Rio; The Gypsy; Who’s the Man Corrupting Richie Cole; Key Largo; Happy Valentine’s Day, Candace; Tomorrow.

Personnel: Richie Cole: alto sax; Jeff Lashway: piano (1-5, 7); Patrick Whitehead: piano (6, 8); Mark Lucas: guitar; Jeff Grubbs: bass (1-5, 7); Mark Perna: bass (6, 8); Reid Hoyson: drums, percussion; George Jones: congas.

Title: Pittsburgh | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Richie Cole Presents


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Meeting At The Parting Place" CD/LP/Track Review Meeting At The Parting Place
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Beatrice" CD/LP/Track Review Beatrice
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Antidote" CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!