Warning: session_start(): open(/tmp/sess_b0a8a90fd487c9b40c308de3115ddfbf, O_RDWR) failed: No space left on device (28) in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/includes/functions_new.php on line 2

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/includes/functions_new.php:2) in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/includes/functions_new.php on line 2

Warning: mysql_query(): Unable to save result set in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/includes/functions_new.php on line 2391
James Zoller: Zollar System
349

James Zoller: Zollar System

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
James Zollar is a musical treasure hidden in plain sight. He has played and recorded as a sideman for a variety of artists, including Cecil McBee, Tom Harrell, Weldon Irving and Sam Rivers, as a member of Wynton Marsalis' brass section in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra and several of Don Byron's bands. While he leads his own mainstream-oriented quintet, Zollar has recorded only one collection, the very fine Soaring With Bird (Naxos Jazz, 1998).

Twelve years later, he re-emerges as leader with Zollar Systems, a refreshingly sharp hard bop recital, bristling with energy and sonic acuteness. Tired of that old Blue Note '50s-'60s blowing session model? Think again. Zollar breathes new life into the old form, tightening it up and repackaging it for the 21st Century. This is apparent, right out of the chute with Daniel Jackson's "Chicago Preferred," in classic hard bop form: complex, rhythmically assertive head followed by solos. Zollar is more Kenny Dorham than Lee Morgan and it still doesn't reveal the tart, informed tone of the leader.

Pianist Rick Germanson wastes no time establishing both his modern bop creds. His introduction to Basia's "The Prayer of a Happy Housewife" shimmers as does Stacy Dillard's soprano saxophone. Date producer and vocalist Nabuko Kiryu pens and sings her original composition "Take the Subway Home." She also provides the jaunty original "Go-en," sung in the original Japanese and then English. Zollar's solo sparkles with intelligence and melody. Don Byron lends his clarinet to the Eddie Harris romp "Spasmodic Movement," providing an angular and sharp solo.

Zollar proves his real talent on Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You." Unadorned and honest, Zollar's interpretation is melody over invention, soul over technique—the perfect hard bop ballad. James Zollar has spent far too long in the shadow of other leaders, who were all lucky to have his talent. Zollar Systems and the previous Soaring With Bird show the trumpeter to be more than able to lead his own musical vision.

Track Listing: Chicago Preferred; The Prayer of a Happy Housewife; Take The Subway Home;The Nearness of You; Spasmodic Movements; Go-En; Slick; Angel Face; Black Winter; Time To Say Good Bye.

Personnel: James Zollar: trumpet; Stacy Dillard: tenor and soprano saxophones; Rick Germanson: piano, keyboards; Ugonna Okegwo, Andy McCloud: bass; Bruce Cox: drums; Nabuko Kiryu: vocals, all arrangements.

Title: Zollar System | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
It's All Good People

It's All Good People

JZAZ Records
2013

buy
Zollar System

Zollar System

Self Produced
2010

buy
 

Soaring With Bird

Warner Bros. Records
1997

buy

Related Articles

Read Live at I.C.U.U. Album Reviews
Live at I.C.U.U.
By Karl Ackermann
June 16, 2019
Read 789 Miles Album Reviews
789 Miles
By David A. Orthmann
June 16, 2019
Read Follow Me Album Reviews
Follow Me
By Roger Farbey
June 16, 2019
Read You Get What You Give Album Reviews
You Get What You Give
By Ljubinko Zivkovic
June 16, 2019
Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019