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Jesse Andrus' debut disc for DBK Jazz is a Latin-flavored tribute to great tenor saxophone players. I do not specify which ones because they become obvious when coursing through this clever collection of standards and originals. Andrus is a multi-reed instrumentalist who manages the tenor and above, plus the flute, deftly.
This recording is fueled by the percussion expertise of Edgardo Cintron, another date leader from the DBK Jazz house band. Latin Jazz or jazz played in the Latin style always has percussion and rhythm at the forefront of the mix. Speaking of the mix, all of the DBK Jazz discs I have listened to or reviewed have had pristine sonics. This disc is no exception. It absolutely crackles. Almost too much. Soy Califa, like the other DBK Jazz discs are impeccably engineered.
The Tenor Songbook.
"Soy Califa" is only the beginning of this tenor orgy. Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz", "As Time Goes By" (another Gordon vehicle), and "Desafinado", ala Stan Getz. The disc contains two additional Jobim songs ("Dindi" and "Once I Loved") and two originals. Jesse Andrus is equally adept on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones as well as flute. All are in evidence on this fine Latin disc. Recommended.
Soy Califa, Summer Sunrise, Tanya, Dindi, Freedom Jazz Dance, Once I Loved, Reflections, Desafinado, As Time Goes By, Green Dolphin Street.
Jesse Andrus: Tenor, Alto, Soprano Saxophones, and Flute. Edgardo A. Cintron: Timbales, Conga, and Percussion. Pablo Babtista: Congas, Percussion. Noel Cintron: Bongos, Percussion. Demitrius Pappas: Piano. Chico Huff: Bass. Jeff Von Stenz: Trumpet and Flugelhorn. Myron Williams: Drums. Mike Ianieri: Guitar Bass and Organ.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.