All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Leigh Pilzer: Strunkin'

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
Leigh Pilzer is a baritone saxophonist from the Washington, DC area who has made a busy career for herself teaching, playing in various small groups and holding down the baritone chair in the The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Diva Jazz Orchestra and the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. On this, her first CD as a leader, she fronts a small group made up of her bandmates from all three of those ensembles.

This is a live recording of Pilzer's set from the Washington Women In Jazz Festival held in March 2016. It demonstrates the way Pilzer wields her instrument in a warm, enveloping manner that sounds good at any tempo. She sounds as romantic as Harry Carney on the ballad "Miss Ally In Allyworld" and rolls along roguishly like Gerry Mulligan on the mid-tempo stroll of "Strunkin.'"

The entire quintet has an easygoing but solid cohesion and impish style and all get to shine on a program of originals written by Pilzer and other band members. "Blue Moo" is a pretty, stylish waltz notable for the brassy exuberance of Jen Krupa's trombone and the elegant two-handed swirl of Jackie Warren's piano while "Brag Time," written by bassist Amy Shook, is a funky stomp, dedicated to Sarah Vaughan, where Warren slides into gospel soul territory and Krupa breaks out some low down plunger mute sounds. "Thaddish" is a more upscale piece of jazzy blues-soul marked by exuberant baritone playing and Sherrie Maricle's deft and swinging brushwork.

There's also swinging Latin romance on "It's Anyone But You," brawny funk on "Look Before You Lerp" and a final playful snatch of bebop on Krupa's variation on Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," "Duel At Dawn." All of these spotlight the friendly interplay between Pilzer and Krupa as they work in and out of each other's phrases and trade high-spirited solos.

This CD shows off not only Leigh Pilzer's talents as a musician and writer but the talent of everyone in her band. This makes a fine calling card for musicians who deserve to be better known.

Track Listing: Strunkin'; Blue Moo; Miss Ally in Allyworld; Brag Time (Shook); Thaddish; It's Anyone But You; Look Before You Lerp; Duel at Dawn (Krupa)

Personnel: Leigh Pilzer: baritone saxophone; Jen Krupa: trombone; Sherrie Maricle: drums; Amy Shook: bass; Jackie Warren: piano

Title: Strunkin' | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Doug Collette
Published: April 3, 2018
Read "Acknowledgement" CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Humanities" CD/LP/Track Review Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "There'll Be Some Changes Made" CD/LP/Track Review There'll Be Some Changes Made
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: May 17, 2018
Read "EP 1" CD/LP/Track Review EP 1
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "Postcard Collection" CD/LP/Track Review Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018