165

Ralph Lalama Quartet: The Audience

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Ralph Lalama Quartet: The Audience Covers can become trite very quickly, but when arrangements are fresh and performance is equal to the task, they can become as endearing as new masterpieces. The Audience, by Ralpha Lalama Quartet, has that quality with its mix of lesser-known jazz songs, a little pop and some original interludes.

Lalama, a tenor saxophonist, has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for 30 years, many of them spent with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He was also a member of Joe Lovano's Grammy-winning Nonet. Joining Lalama are bassist Rick Petrone, guitarist John Hart and drummer Joe Corsello.

There's something special about a swinging jazz interpretation of a pop, rock or soul song. The quartet brings that type of flair to Stevie Wonder's "Livin' for the City." Sax and guitar blend for the melody with modest contributions from bass and drums. After the chorus, Lalama solos, with playful support from the supporting cast. Hart's solo is in that hybrid area that bridges jazz and traditional blues. After the two trade a second set of solos, the band returns to the melody. Petrone and Corsello show off a bit during the closing sequence while Lalama and Hart engage in a spirited call-and-response.

"Portrait of Jennie," previously recorded by Nat "King" Cole and several jazz luminaries, is dedicated to Lalama's mother Jennie, who died in 2005. This tranquil piece features a somber, yet charming lead from the tenor. A dialogue between Lalama and Corsello sets up the ending.

"Minor League," first recorded by guitarist Grant Green with saxophonist Joe Henderson, is a lively piece. Lalama's lead is augmented by the play of the sidemen, while Hart again solos with a crafty blend of jazz and blues.

The Audience is the quartet's follow-up to its debut, Energy Fields (Mighty Quinn, 2008). The name is derived from the band's alignment during the recording session—playing as if before a live audience.


Track Listing: Marie Antoinette; Livin' for the City; Love Thy Neighbor; Jonme; Portrait of Jennie; Minor League; Jome; Kiss & Run; Ricme; I'm an Old Cowhand.

Personnel: Ralph Lalama: tenor sax; John Hart: guitar; Rick Petrone: bass; Joe Corsello: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Mighty Quinn Productions | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Porgy and Bess Live" CD/LP/Track Review Porgy and Bess Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "The Darkening Blue" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkening Blue
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "You'll See" CD/LP/Track Review You'll See
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!