The Edmund Velasco Quintet drives hard bop mainstream with class. Their second album, all originals, captures a traditional essence while remaining fresh. The tenor saxophonist and his front line partner, trumpeter Kye Palmer, hand out classic lines as many have done before them these past 50 years. The hard bop quintet instrumentation makes a fine vehicle for mainstream jazz because of its history. But it’s the quality of their music that counts, and Velasco’s unit carries on that tradition well.
Benefactors of Orange County, California’s extensive college training grounds for big band and small ensemble jazz, the quintet’s members read each other’s cues with precision and produce the desired result.
Track Listing: Turning Point; The Blues In Me; Not Even the Rain Has Such Small Hands; The Underside; Cuidado; Remember When; The Incredible Mr. T; Still Here; Hyped Up.
Personnel: Edmund Velasco- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Kye Palmer- trumpet; Ken Treseder- piano; Toby Holmes- bass; Jimmy Ford- drums.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.