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Known as one of the best drummers in the jazz world today, Tommy Igoe is also one of the most in-demand musicians around and since 2006, Igoe and the Birdland Big band have been holding residency at New York's Birdland Jazz Club which apparently, is not enough to keep the drummer grounded. Igoe now lives in San Francisco wheresimultaneously with the Birdland Club gighe is also holding weekly residency at the Bay Area's most famous jazz club, Yoshi's and now debuts his new 15-piece big band and self-titled album The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy.
The conspiracy begins to take shape with a funky and groovy rendition of the standard "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" featuring power solo moments from alto saxophonist Marc Russo and fellow tenor man Tom Politzer followed by Bob Berg's electric "Friday Night At The Cadillac Club" where the drummer is in high gear and the music, high octane. The good times do indeed start rolling on the familiar pop standard "Let The Good Times Roll" featuring superb vocals from the great Kenny Washington, a solo joust from altoist Russo and powerful rumblings from the band.
The music turns south on the Brazilian-tinged "Aquele Um" where Igoe's strong drumming prowess is on display along with Scott Kettner on Brazilian percussion and Bay Area trumpeter Steffen Kuehn who also takes to the flugelhorn on one of the delicious tunes of the set. The Conspiracy Band is in full force powering through Quincy Jones' dynamic "Jessica's Day" where the group delivers its most robust propulsive performance featuring Alex Murzyn on tenor, Colin Hogan on the piano and John Gove on the trombone.
The band revisits the Latin side of jazz with an exciting and riveting version of Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval' "Caprichosos De La Habana" showcasing Dave Len Scott on the horn, Russo once again on the alto, Kettner's percussion and the entire brass section for one boisterous number. Not to be out done here, Igoe leads the band on another Latin-tinged rendition of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" featuring vocalist Washington once again as well as baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington, and Latin percussion from Karl Perazzo on an absolutely sassy and audacious version of the standard.
The last two tracks of the session are the only originals performed by the band beginning with trombonist Mike Rinta's "Plan B" featuring high-powered solos from saxophonist Murzyn and another solo from Grammy-Award winning trumpeter Randy Brecker. Ending much as they began, the Conspiracy band closes in funky and groovy style on bassist Michael League's original "Quarter Master" where the trombone section takes lead and the leader takes center stage with a strong drum solo reminiscent of the late great Buddy Rich.
The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy is a world-class ensemble that lets it all hang out here, delivering a power-packed performance that's all swing conspiring to blow the house down with their muscle brass and a bit of class, well done!
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; Friday Night At The Cadillac Club; Jazz Crimes; Let The Good Times Roll; Aquele Um; Jessica's Day; Caprichosos De La Habana; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Plan B; Quarter Master.
Tommy Igoe: drums, programming; Dewayne Pate: bass; Colin Hogan: piano; Drew Zingg: guitar; Louis Fasman: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steffen Kuehn: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Len Scott: trumpet, flugelhorn; Nick Ciardelli: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Gove: trombone;Jeanne Geiger: trombone; Mike Rinta: bass trombone; Marc Russo: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Tom Politzer: tenor saxophone; Alex Murzyn: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; Aaron Lington: baritone saxophone; Randy Brecker: trumpet (9); Kenny Washington: vocals; James Genus: bass (1); Michael League: bass (10); Karl Perazzo: Latin pecussion (8, 10); Scott Kettner: Brazilian percussion (5, 7).