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.

Title: The Audience | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Mighty Quinn Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "El Barranco" CD/LP/Track Review El Barranco
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Autumn Tales" CD/LP/Track Review Autumn Tales
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "We Drift Meridian" CD/LP/Track Review We Drift Meridian
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 20, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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