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Album Review

The Reid Hoyson Project: Your Move


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The Reid Hoyson Project: Your Move
The Reid Hoyson Project consists of two groups, each of which showcases the insuperable talents of saxophonist Keith Bishop who plays tenor with a close-knit quintet, alto with the more spacious octet. Drummer Hoyson, a fixture on the Pittsburgh jazz scene for roughly half a century, waited until Bishop was available before recording his latest album, and listeners can be thankful that he did, as it is hard to imagine what the enterprise might have resembled without him. While the groups are proficient in their own way, it is Bishop who provides the harmonic compass that leads them in a brighter and more fruitful direction.

If you dig Houston Person, Harry Allen, Frank Morgan or Richie Cole, you're sure to appreciate Bishop who has enriched legendary big bands led by Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw and performed with countless smaller groups at home and abroad, as well as in many Broadway pit orchestras. Like others at his elevated level, Bishop makes everything sound so ridiculously easy that one is liable to lose sight of how demanding it is to sound so calm and assured.

While it may be logical to observe that Hoyson's groups simply follow Bishop's lead, there is far more to it than that. Granted, they do lend needed support, and Bishop is given the lion's share of solo space, but he in turn leans on their expertise, and they don't let him down. Hoyson is a splendid drummer, and the rhythm sections in each ensemble are earnest and attentive. Bassist Ava Lintz and pianist Jeff Lashway solo ably with the quintet; Lashway, trumpeter James Moore and trombonist Jeff Bush with the octet. The playlist is impeccable, from Benny Carter's "When Lights Are Low" through Johnny Mercer/Jimmy Van Heusen's "I Thought About You." The other standards—"Speak Low," "Out of Nowhere," "Nobody Else But Me"—are interspersed among Benny Golson's "Stablemates," Jaco Pastorius' "Three Views of a Secret," Bruno Martino's "Estate," Debora Gurget's "Domingo" and Sonny Stitt's "Eternal Triangle," the last reined in to some degree from its usual frenetic tempo. Bishop, who divides his time equally between tenor and alto sax, also arranged every number;

This is plain-spoken old-school jazz, awash in delightful melodies, harmonies and rhythms. In other words, a pleasure to kick back and groove on. Let's hope that Bishop soon makes a return visit to the Steel City, home of hard-nosed football and no-nonsense jazz, to record another session as cordial and charming as this.

Track Listing

When Lights Are Low; Stablemates; Speak Low; Three Views of a Secret; Out of Nowhere; Estate; Domingo; Nobody Else But Me; The Eternal Triangle; I Thought About You.


Reid Hoyson: drums; Keith Bishop: saxophone, tenor; Ava Lintz: bass; Jeff Lashway: piano; George Jones: percussion; Eric DeFade: saxophone; James Moore: trumpet; Jeff Bush: trombone; Jeff Grubbs: bass.

Album information

Title: Your Move | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Self Produced

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