The Spring 2011 Concert Series continues apace this Friday (4/15) at Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street, New Haven, with 2 sets from the Daniel Levin Quartet. Cellist-composer Levin, a native of Burlington, Vermont, graduated from the New England Conservatory in 2001 and, since then, has steadily built his career as a leader and sideman. He's released 8 CDs under his own name (on labels such as Hat Art and Clean Feed) plus worked and recorded alongside musicians such as Billy Bang, Anthony Braxton, Tony Malaby, Joe Morris and William Parker, among others.
Joining him in the intimate performance space will be Nate Wooley (trumpet), UCONN graduate Matt Moran (vibraphone) and Peter Bitenc (bass.) This ensemble has been working and recording together for 9 years; their musical interactions display the friendship and trust built from their time touring.
For ticket information, call 203-785-0468 or go to www.firehouse12.com. To learn about Mr. Levin and his compatriots, go to www.daniel-levin.com/.
There's something about the Hammond B-3 organ that makes it just right for "soul-jazz." Over the years, musicians such as the "Jimmys" - Smith and McGriff - Charles Earland, Larry Young and Joey De Francesco have played all sorts of tunes utilizing the big organ.
Jared Gold continues in the long tradition of blending hard-bop and soul elements into a tasty aural treat. His 4th release for the L.A.-based Posi-Tone Records label, "All Wrapped Up", replaces the guitar in his ensemble with saxophonist Ralph Bowen and trumpeter Jim Rotondi, both players who know how to heat up a session. Add to the mix the incendiary drumming of Quincy Davis and the program is fun from note one. The explosive opening track, "My Sentiments Exactly", sets the pace - listen to how Gold rides easily atop Davis's race-car drive and the way Bowen and Rotondi rise to the occasion. The soulful strut of "Piece of Mine" has a handsome melody voiced by the trumpet and saxophone. Rotondi seems to build his solo off both the rapid-fire snare drumming and organ fills while Bowen sways over the beat. Gold really digs in for his 2-handed foray (his footwork on the bass pedals is dandy throughout.)
Other highlights include "Saudades", which hints at Latin roots but slides lightly atop Davis's sparkling cymbals and Gold's full-voiced chordal work. Then, there is the "fatback funk" of "Mama Said" with strong solos all around led by the "can't miss" beat provided by Davis.
"All Wrapped Up" is fun music, great for turning up the speakers and shaking the walls. Gold unselfishly shares the spotlight; it's all for good that both Bowen and Rotondi are fully committed to make the session successful. With Quincy Davis piloting the ship from the drum set, this CD is a real treat. For more information, go to www.posi-tone.com.
Here's the opening track, courtesy of Posi-Tone Records and IODA Promonet:
My Sentiments Exactly (mp3)