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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CD Reviews:The Lalama Brothers - Erie Ave.

Ralph Lalama (ten); Dave Lalama (pno/vcl); Peter Washington (bs); Kenny Washington (dms).  + Joe Lovano (G mezzo sop sax on 2 tracks).
(Review by Lance).
Erie Avenue is the street in West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania that the Lalana brothers were born and raised on. It has fond memories for them of a loving extended family and friends in a neighbourhood that (quote) "Gave us an abundance of freedom, discipline and unconditional love. This recording is our homage to that very special place that has forever shaped our lives and, of course, our music". So spoke Dr. Dave Lalama, currently Professor of Music at Hofstra University.
On the strength of this recording, every budding jazz musician should live on Erie Ave. and pick up the magic that must surely be in the air.
Ralph Lalama served his apprenticeship with the bands of Woody Herman, Buddy Rich and Mel Lewis going on to pick up 3 Grammy nominations. An associate of Joe Lovano it was only natural to invite Joe to guest on the album which he does on two tracks. Interesting is Lovano's use of the rarely heard G mezzo soprano sax. Pitched tonally between the Eb alto and the conventional Bb soprano the G mezzo is an instrument which, to my ears, is more pleasing than the Bb horn. Less screechy, more mellow I'd like to hear more of it. Perhaps Joe Lovano will bring it with him to Sage Gateshead for the International Jazz Festival on April 5 - are you listening Joe?
The material is a mix of originals by Dave Lalama, 1 by Ralph Lalama, 1 x Cedar Walton and the standards Portrait of Jenny and Everything Happens to Me. This latter track is a vocal feature for Dave which he humbly and totally unnecessarily dedicates to every professional singer he ever had to accompany! No need to apologise Dave - you did good!
There being two sets of brothers on the disc it was, I suppose, logical to include Mulligan's Five Brothers and Giuffre's Four Brothers. I'm pleased that they did - such a relaxed swing Woody would have loved it!
Whoops! I've just discovered that the two Washington's are unrelated so please consider this as poetic licence or, as the saying goes, close enough for jazz!
Lance.

1 comment :

Ernie Jackson (on F/b) said...

Tony Faulkner and me saw them in The Kitano in NYC 3 years ago.Then we saw Ralph play again with The Vanguard big band.Great player and a very nice man.

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