4

Ron Aprea: Remembering Blakey

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Ron Aprea: Remembering Blakey Legendary drummer Art Blakey, he of the eponymous The Jazz Messengers is regularly attributed with saying: "Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life." Well, if that's the case, this superb recording from saxophonist Ron Aprea and his cleaning crew certainly left the studio spotless, and themselves, to be somewhat crude but oh-so accurate, assless.

This is a very fine recording—a cooker—in the hippest and hottest of Hard Bop traditions. With a dozen selections from speedballs ("Flown the Coup") to jazz standards ("My Foolish Heart") to slick Aprea ("For Pete's Sake)" and Paul Brusger originals ("Andrea's Delight"), the recording channels some of Blakey's best Messenger magic. Aprea and front line trumpet sidekick, Joe Magnarelli light fires here that would have Smokey the Bear passing wood. Tenor man Jerry Weldon gladly throws gas on the inferno, as well.

Aprea's saxophone has a genuine quality to it—full of emotion and flair. While he can blister through changes with impeccable skill and creative juice, his ballad performances are stunningly beautiful ("Lover Man"). While obviously a Bird and Art Pepper devotee, Aprea's passionate involvement with melodic and lyric line is uncanny and eerily reminiscent of the late, great Charlie Mariano. Magnarelli, who's the perfect teammate for Aprea's fire- brand energy, is at his best here—and he's always good. With a solid sound, great chops and a no-nonsense grabbing of the changes, Magnarelli is constantly surprising—line after line, searing and soaring with boundless energy, inspiration and skill.

Much can said about the terrific rhythm section. These are the chefs that cook this spice fest up. Pianist Ceclia Coleman, bassist Tim Givens and drummer Vince Cherico drive the frontline relentlessly when required and always tastefully on the slower selections.

If there is any drawback here, it's a very minor one: the background arrangements at times are a hair superfluous. Now that might be a nit- pick, since the solo playing is so captivating, no hot sauce on them is needed.

Aprea and team can be exceptionally proud of this standout recording. It's one of this year's best. Blakey, who was "Our Father" to many privileged to pass through his "University," would certainly give these performers his imprimatur on their diploma.


Track Listing: Flown the Coup; Minor Setback; My Foolish Heart; Latino; In a Minor Funk; Goodbye; Transition Blues; Andrea’s Delight; Sophia; Cherokee; Lover Man; For Pete’s Sake.

Personnel: Ron Aprea: alto saxophone; Jerry Weldon: tenor Saxophone; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet and flugelhorn; Cecilia Coleman: piano; Tim Givens: bass; Vince Cherico: drums; George Hooks: percussion (4, 5); Jerry Sokolov: trumpet (7).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Early Autumn Productions | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Everybody's Somebody's Nobody" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody's Somebody's Nobody
by John Sharpe
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Long After Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Long After Midnight
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Rejoice! I'm Dead!" CD/LP/Track Review Rejoice! I'm Dead!
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!