Joe Locke & the Milt Jackson Tribute Band – Rev-Elation (Live at Ronnie Scott’s) – (Joe Locke, vibes; Mike LeDonne, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Mickey Roker, drums) – Sharp Nine Records

by | Nov 25, 2005 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Joe Locke & the Milt Jackson Tribute Band  – 
Rev-Elation (Live at Ronnie Scott’s)  – (Joe Locke, vibes; Mike
LeDonne, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Mickey Roker, drums) – Sharp Nine
Records 2005 #CD 1033-2, 64:14  ***1/2:

Straight Ahead and in the Pocket – the motto of Sharp Nine Records – is
an apt description of Joe Locke’s latest release, recorded in early
April 2005 at the famous Ronnie Scott’s nightclub in London. Locke had
earlier been invited to play with Milt Jackson’s former rhythm section
at New York’s, SMOKE, jazz club and the engagement went so well that a
Sharp Nine recording gig was set up at Europe’s premiere jazz club for
a six night run. Recordings from two nights of the show’s run are
featured on this CD, which has been promptly released in time for
holiday purchase.

Locke’s notes in the CD booklet indicate that the songs selected for
the recording were taken from the repertoire Milt played with this
rhythm section. They are all winners and it is hard to pick favorites.

The Reverend Speaks, blues based, features Mike LeDonne on Fender
Rhodes. Young and Foolish, arranged by Cedar Walton is a sparkling
rendition and Locke’s vibes are crystal clear and sound like they are
three feet away from the listener. The mix is superb, especially for a
live recording.

Burt Bacharach’s Look of Love usually elicits winces from jazz fans but
here Locke coolly swings the melody and Mickey Roker’s  cymbals
and LeDonne’s  piano provide sophistication. The title track,
Rev-Elation, speaks volumes to Milt Jackson’s nickname, the Reverend,
and also to the Modern Jazz Quartet, where Jackson played for decades.
Horace Silver’s Opus de Funk is taken at a fast pace and bears little
resemblance to Silver’s Blue Note version, with more crystalline mallet
work by Locke. Close Enough for Love is a feature mostly for LeDonne
and Locke with Locke having an extended solo coda. Used to Be Jackson,
Ray Brown’s tribute to Milt, ends both the CD and the listener’s
overseas visit with the Milt Jackson Tribute Band. It’s time well spent!

Tracks:  The Prophet Speaks, Young and Foolish, The Look of Love,
Rev-Elation, Opus de Funk, Close Enough for Love, Big Town, Used to Be
Jackson                                                                            

 – Jeff Krow

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