196

Anthony Ortega Trio: Scattered Clouds

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Alto saxophonist Anthony Ortega has swerved in and out of the spotlight for many years whether performing with the Lionel Hampton and Maynard Ferguson big bands or recording a series of solo albums during the 50's. Yet like so many of his fellow jazz brethren, steady work was hard to come by during the somewhat dormant 1960's.

Here, on Scattered Clouds along with West Coast jazz veterans, pianist Mike Wofford and (ex-Bill Evans trio) drummer, Joe LaBarbera, the saxophonist gets to stretch his impressive wares on an outing consisting of standards and his lone original composition, i.e. the title track. Simply put, Ortega exhibits the sound and chops of a seasoned professional who over the years has developed a finely honed and relatively stylized mode of execution. Essentially, Ortega's special brew features sharp utilization of all registers in conjunction with airy lyricism and a commanding tone. On "Alone Together," the saxophonist emits joyous lines atop LaBarbera's swaggering medium tempo swing beats and Wofford's multihued comps and accenting counterattack. Through it all, the trio alternates between loosely swinging, hard bop themes and sharply constructed modern jazz-type diversions as the musicians trigger responses from one another while also reworking melodies via inventive interplay.

Ortega renders soul-searching lines and harmonious motifs on ballads such as "Body and Soul" and "What's New (Take 1)" while he picks up the tenor sax and blows arched patterns across an angular attack along with Wofford's savory melodies on "Island of Trolls." However, the musicians also disrupt the momentum as they venture into " free " territory, which is an ongoing characteristic that permeates this fine outing.

* * * ' (Out of * * * * *)

hatOLOGY


Track Listing: 1) Alone Together 2) Body and Soul 3) Scattered Clouds 4) What's New (Take 1) 5) Night and Day 6) Island of Trolls 7) All or Nothing At All 8) What's New (Take 2) 9) Hot House

Personnel: Anthony Ortega; alto saxophone, tenor saxophone on # 6: Mike Wofford; piano: Joe LaBarbera; drums.

Title: Scattered Clouds | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Cub(an)ism" CD/LP/Track Review Cub(an)ism
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon" CD/LP/Track Review Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.