Honolulu Jazz Quartet – Tenacity – HNQ

by | Apr 12, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Honolulu Jazz Quartet – Tenacity – HNQ 2966, 67:09 **** [www.honolulujazzquartet.com]:

(John Kolivas, bass/founder & leader; Tim Tsukiyama, tenor sax/soprano sax; Dan Del Negro, piano; Adam Baron, drums)

Good to know there are some alternatives in the islands to both the mostly-cornball tourist-type Hawaiian  music and the genuine ethnic stuff (not mention the slack-key guitar school, which is not bad listening). It turns out there’s been a jazz tradition in Hawaii ever since the 1920s. There’s even a Hawaiian International Jazz Festival, at which the HJQ has of course performed, as well as with the Honolulu Symphony Pops and at venues around the islands. The HJQ was founded in 2001 to bring together four like-minded jazz musicians with individual voices to produce one distinctive-sounding post-bop jazz quartet in Hawaii.

And they’ve done it! Not many new jazz bands get to have the liner notes for their debut release penned by longtime jazz authority Nat Hentoff, but that’s what the HJQ has here. As he says in them, “I only write liner notes for recordings that make me want to hear them again and again.” And that fits this CD. Eight of the nine tracks are originals from members of the band, with leader Kolivas contributing five of them.  His quarter-century as a professional bassist in both NYC and Hawaii comes thru in his catchy and enjoyable tunes.  Pianist Del Negro lists Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Chick Corea as influences; during the past dozen years he’s worked out of Los Angeles with many top names in the business. The switch to Tsukiyama’s soprano sax on some of the numbers provides a pleasant change of sound and mood.  Sonics are first rate.

TrackList: Tenacity, Real Old Style, Midlife, “The Indians,” Honolulu Hang, Wayne’s Bounce, Chillin’ at the Crib, The Keez Is In The Car, Are We There Yet?

 – John Henry

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