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Summer jazz camps where senior players influence the up-and-coming generation and pick and choose some to "go on the road" have become a common musical trajectory for some of the finest young jazz musicians. One such training ground is Connecticut's Litchfield Jazz Camp where many of the players on saxophonist Albert Rivera's Re-Introduction met, formed tight musical bonds and now serve as faculty. While Rivera's compositions are diverse, these musicians hit the pocket and sustain a powerful group dynamic.
In addition to Rivera's tenor and soprano sax playing that burns on the boppers and soothes on the ballads, drummer Ralph Peterson is at the center of this session, using exquisite texture and a melodic approach to ground and augment these compositions. The Curtis brothersZaccai on piano and Luques on bassmesh exceedingly well with Peterson to form a majestic rhythm section of great depth.
Rivera can expose the beautifully tender side of his soprano on ballads like the lovely Luques tune "Elsewhere," play power tenor on a scorcher like "My Way of Saying It" and evince a gorgeous tenor tone as he does on the paean to saxophonist Jimmy Greene, "Greenetones." Greene joins the group for "The New York-Hartford Connection," a tune that is presented in two takes with different tempos. The saxophonists combine for a dual tenor voicing that alternates gentleness with incisiveness, sweetly swinging or cooking in tandem. Trumpeter Christian Scott adds some welcome timbral variety on several cuts as do fellow 'campers' Nick Roseboro (trumpet) and Andrew Lipow (guitar), completing this musically broad Re-Introduction to Rivera's music.
Track Listing: Long Way From Home; Greenetones; (Ain't It) Just Like the Night; New View; Me, Myself, and I; Elsewhere; The New York-Hartford Connection; Family Extension; My Way of Saying It; The New York-Hartford Connection (Alt Take).
Personnel: Albert Rivera: tenor and soprano saxophones; Ralph Peterson: drums; Christian Scott: trumpet; Jimmy Greene: tenor saxophone; Luques Curtis: bass; Zaccai Curtis: piano; Nick Roseboro: trumpet; Andrew Lipow: guitar.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.