Jazz CD Reviews

One for All – Incorrigible – JLP

Another signing coup for Jazz Legacy Productions.

Published on April 19, 2010

One for All – Incorrigible – JLP

One for All – Incorrigible – JLP 1001005, 55:10 ****:

(Jim Rotondi, trumpet & Flugelhorn; Eric Alexander, tenor sax; Steve Davis, trombone; David Hazeltine, piano; John Webber, bass; Joe Farnsworth, drums)

Along with roster members Cyrus Chestnut and The Heath Brothers, Jazz Legacy Productions recently upped the ante by having the super hard bop sextet, One for All, record their latest collaboration, Incorrigible, for JLP. In these times when groups seldom keep their members together for even five years, One for All seems to be the exception. They have worked together for thirteen years and had recorded fourteen CDs for labels ranging from Venus (Japan) to Criss Cross (Holland), and the American label Sharp Nine.

Incorrigible continues their winning run. Each member of One for All is either a recording leader, or in the case of John Webber, a first call sideman. This could be a recipe for conflict with other musicians, but for One for All, egos are set aside and their obvious affection for each other has kept this group together for so long. That’s welcome news for straight ahead hard bop fans. Four members of the band contribute original features to this new CD with only Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, as the only non-group composition. Whereas, I usually welcome new interpretations of standards, I found Bewitched the least interesting track on the CD.

David Hazeltine’s Petite Ange offers solos from the front line horns, as well as David. Jim Rotondi’s tribute to the late Freddie Hubbard, Voice, is deeply moving, and aptly expresses the love the jazz community had for Freddie. Rotondi’s Flugelhorn has the round rich tone color that Hubbard brought to ballads.

The title track, written by Alexander, features the ensemble playing that One for All is known for. It’s a primary reason that this group gets compared so often to many of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messenger aggregations, that featured a strong front line of trumpet, tenor, and trombone backed by a crack rhythm section spurring on the horns. Blues for Jose, written by David Hazeltine, features a winning low register solo from Steve Davis, and blues based hard charging choruses from Rotondi and Alexander.

Spirit Waltz is all about the simpatico that One for All has in spades. From a solid horn blend to feisty solos from Davis and Alexander (I hear Coltrane here), all propelled by furious stick work by Joe Farnsworth, this track is not your typical waltz time breeze.

So Soon ends the CD – too soon in my opinion – with obvious comparisons to Benny Golson’s Blues March, as the horns get into a punctuated vamp around which they can gloriously blow. This track would be a great ending to a live set, leaving the audience begging for more.

Here’s hoping JLP was savvy enough to sign One for All to a multi-album contract. With a band this tight it only makes sense.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Petite Ange, Voice, Incorrigible, Blues for Jose, Spirit Waltz, Back to Back, So Soon

– Jeff Krow

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