The band's moniker is derived from the Brooklyn, NY club, Puppet's Jazz, which closed its doors in 2011. Here, the musicians who logged numerous hours at the club are reunited and spark a winning formula by dishing out the complete package. Insanely hip, sinuously shaped, and with an unstoppable attack, the soloists ride atop an undulating current. But one of the primary delights of this wonderful album is that you won't hear one iota of filler material. Each song introduces a memorable melody, where New York City downtown denizen, vibraphonist Bill Ware and eminent pianist Arturo O'Farrill display their magic with resonating aplomb, coupled with the formidable rhythmic presence of Jaime Affoumado and bassist Alex Blake.
"Peaceful Moment" written by Alex Blake is one of the quieter pieces on the program. Yet with some decent exposure, this gem could become a new jazz standard, conceivably embraced by other jazz artists. Featuring a rather polite melody, intimating notions of innocence and peace, the soloists commingle lavish overtones and a gradually mounting gait. Moreover, Affoumado institutes a colorific aspect via his shrewd counterpoint mechanisms, when tapping his cymbals in unison with Ware's tuneful notes.
Blake anchors the meticulously executed progressions as O'Farrill recedes the dreamy panorama by remodeling the theme back to where it started. It's classy, gorgeous and somewhat hypnotic amid the largely invigorating, action-packed production where all the intricate moving parts align with engineering splendor. Yet the artists sustain a loose groove feel by projecting a spacious aura, contrasted by high-flying bop workouts, bristling improvisations and compositions that tender pliant underpinnings.
Personnel: Arturo O'Farrill: piano; Bill Ware: vibraphone; Alex Blake: double bass, bass guitar; Jaime Affoumado: drums.
Year Released: 2014
| Record Label: Puppet's Records
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.