Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.

I want to help

Honolulu Jazz Quartet: Sounds of the City

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Honolulu Jazz Quartet: Sounds of the City Figure in all the innumerable ensemble configurations possible in jazz, and a soft spot still clings to my heart for the well-rendered quartet outing, saxophone and a rhythm section playing straightforward mainstream jazz. The Honolulu Jazz Quartet's Sounds of the City delivers just that.

Bassist John Kolivas leads the guartet, which has been together since 2001, developing a remarkable musical collectivity, an ensemble sound that, even when someone solos, it doesn't stand apart as a solo but fits into the music as a logical transition in the flow of sound. Kolivas anchors this sound with a big warm tone behind an infectious group empathy suffused with positive vibes (the Aloha Spirit perhaps), full of bright melodies that seem always to be telling a story. Then there's the musicianship—first rate all around.

Saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama's tenor blows in the round and airy side of the spectrum on "Remembrance," and on the dry and slightly scratchy side, in front of Kolivas' loping bass, on "Woody's Blues," where he brings Dexter Gordon's work on those early (late '40s) Savoy recordings to mind. He is equally adept on soprano—"Cozumel Blues," "Hibiscus Drive"—with a tangy/sweet tone.

Stories told: "Heater's On" is a tribute Kolivas penned to a cranky and complaining New York City apartment heater when he lived in the Big Apple in the early eighties. The tune features drummer Adam Baron's percussion mimicking the metallic clunks and grumbles of the noisy appliance. "Ole Buddy," written by Kolivas for former Honolulu bassist Buddy Burke, has pianist Dan Del Negro plinkng, Basie-like, concise little notes representing Burke's habit of raising and lowering his eyebrows while he played; and "Mt. Fuji"—a full speed ahead tune—was inspired by the sight of the majestic Japanese peak from the window of a speeding train.

When you think of Honolulu, jazz probably doesn't come to mind. It didn't for me. Now it does. Sounds of the City is an inspired set by an inspiring group. In that sax and a rhythm section category, this is the finest I've heard this year.

Visit the Honolulu Jazz Quartet on the web at .

Track Listing: Speed Trap, Ole Buddy, Rembrance, Hibiscus Drive, Deanna, Keahi, Mt. Fuji, Heater's On, Cozumel Breeze, Woody's Blues

Personnel: Tim Tsukiyama--saxophones; Dan Del Negro-piano; John Kolivas--bass; Adam Baron--drums

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: HJQ Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
HJQ Records
Sounds of the City
Sounds of the City
HJQ Records
Miles Davis Miles Davis
Bill Evans Bill Evans
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
Richie Cole Richie Cole
sax, alto
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

New Service For Musicians!

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