Friday, April 01, 2011
Jazz Incorporated's Hard Bop at Smalls.
Among the latest batch of Smalls Live recordings from Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village is one by Jazz Incorporated, “Live at Smalls. Jazz Incorporated is a quartet comprised of Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Louis Hayes on drums, Anthony Wonsey on piano and Dezron Douglas on bass. Pelt and Wonsey have been associated with Hayes as part of the Cannonball Legacy Band while the Connecticut-born Douglas is new to these ears. This recording dates from August 2010 and is presented in the the attractive packaging Smalls Live employs, centered on striking black and white photographs.
There are six lengthy performances here with nearly an hour of hard bop with four vintage compositions mixed with a couple of originals. Art Farmer’s Punsu opens up and includes strong piano from Wonsey along with Pelt’s trumpet in the Clifford Brown-Lee Morgan vein. Hayes drives the group along while Douglas provides a solid anchor. Among other performances here is a sizzling rendition of Woody ‘N You, taken at warp-drive speed with Wonsey’s crisp and clean playing not fazed by the tempo, followed by some blistering playing by Pelt and a taut drum solo from Hayes. A nice contrast is presented by the Rogers and Hammerstein ballad We Kiss in the Shadow, with considerable warmth displayed by Pelt and lovely, restrained piano from Wonsey. Wonsey’s Hey Jimmy has a nice brisk walking tempo with a bouncy melodic line.
This is a live recording by a group whose familiarity with each other contributes to the strong, cohesive performances here. For more information on this check out www.smallslive.com. It can be downloaded or one can purchase as a CD which includes the ability to download it as well.
This was a purchase.