Monday, February 24, 2014
Wayne Waxes (Live and on CD)
Escoffery, born in London, England, moved to the US when he was 8 and settled in New Haven, CT, 3 years later. After spending several years in a youth choir, Escoffery attended the Neighborhood Music School and the Educational Center for the Arts in the Elm City. He went on to study at the Hartt School to study with Jackie McLean and did his graduate work at the Thelonious Monk Institute at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Since moving to New York City in 2000, he has worked with Tom Harrell, the Mingus Orchestra & Big Band, drummer Ben Riley, Ron Carter's Big Band. He's issued 6 CDs as a leader plus 2 sessions co-led with his wife, vocalist Carolyn Leonhart.
The interaction throughout the set is quite impressive, especially the work of Orrin Evans and Rachel Z. The 2 keyboards could have been distracting; instead, they complement each other admirably. The elasticity of the rhythm section is also noteworthy. Wayne Escoffery goes from strength to strength, his music and musicianship imposing and impactful. "Live at Firehouse 12" might be short on running time but packs a mighty punch. For more information, go to www.escofferymusic.com.
Not sure who's joining Wayne Escoffery on Saturday at The Side Door but you can be sure the music will be worth your time. For reservations, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call them at 860-434-0886.