As trumpeter John Daversa explains simply in the liners, Wobbly Dance Flower boils down to having fun. And glory be does he hit it squarely out of the park. Here's an upper deck moon shot so uplifting, so tightly nuanced and choreographed with shifts of meter, attitude, altitude, and an irresistible swing guaranteed to shake you from the apocalyptic feel that seems to have engulfed most of us.
An explosive burst of sound and color, the eight snappy and sparkling originals (along with a playful, soulful arrangement of Bird's memorable "Donna Lee") flow so free and natural, so wonderfully alive, it's impossible, and almost an injustice to, seek out any one or two or three tracks for distinctive mention. "Ms. Turkey" the opening salvo that sets free the horses, finds the whole ensemble in high gear from the get-go. Besides his big dancing chords, pianist Joe Baggcomes from the Hammond B3 school of Dr. Lonnie Smith and Keith Emerson. Bassist Jerry Watts Jr. is a fierce, fearless player, walking the blues and stoking the fire simultaneously. Drummer Gene Coye is another marvel, relentlessly driving Daversa's charts with a fire and verve not readily found. Special kudos most also be awarded to guitarist Zane Carney who effortlessly finds his place amid all the rhythmic movement.
But it's Daversa's controlled, yearning trumpet in tangent with Bob Mintzer's warm and triumphant tenor sax and bass clarinet, that add the true grace and elegant calligraphy to the grand whole of Wobbly Dance Flower . "Brooklyn Still" is an immediately moving, exquisite, lasting work. "Jazz Heads" bops far and wide, as does "Be Free." Despite its fifty second length, the final track "Extra Credit" a spirited, improvised duet for their respective electric wind instruments will swim for days in your brain above the daily noise.
Ms. Turkey, Donna Lee, Be Free, Brooklyn Still, Wobbly Dance Flower,
Jazz Heads, Meet Me At The Airport, You Got A Puppy? Extra Credit
John Daversa - Trumpet, EVI
Bob Mintzer - Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet, EWI
Zane Carney - Guitar
Joe Bagg - Piano, Hammond B3 Organ
Jerry Watts, Jr. - Bass, U-Bass
Gene Coye - Drums