The Verve Jazz Ensemble — Swing-A-Nova — VerveJazz

by | Oct 11, 2017 | Jazz CD Reviews

The Verve Jazz Ensemble — Swing-A-Nova — VerveJazz 45:20 ]Available On Amazon MP3]***

A swinging release filled with a sense of energy. 

( Josh Feldstein – drums/leader; Steve Einerson – piano; Elias Bailey – bass; Tatum Greenblatt – trumpet #3,4,9)

Nicely nestled among a string of other jazz releases comes Swing-A-Nova by The Verve Jazz Ensemble. A charming straight-ahead session that features a potpourri of bop and bossa/Latin jazz favs, which capitalizes on this energetic trio’s technique. Toss in trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt on three tracks, and that results in a quality exploration of the material.

Looking to make a statement from the get go, the band takes “’Tis Autumn” at a turbo charged tempo but everyone stays in control with this frontal attack. Clearly unafraid of such up-tempo excursions, the band with the addition of trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt, dives into Cole Porter’s “From This Moment On” which features a smart series of exchanges between and Greenblatt and drummer Feldstein.

Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil” is offered with a bossa nova beat that is pitch perfect as Steve Einerson piano delivers a sense of promise that is pushed along by bassist Bailey’s big tone and drummer Feldstein deft rhythmic groove. The Johnny Green standard “I Cover The Waterfront” is craftily imagined in a mellow frame with fastidious precision. Bassist Bailey again shows his mettle is a brief solo spot.

The underrated bop tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley recorded “This I Dig Of You” for his 1960 Blue Note release Soul Station. Mobley’s version was a  bop swinger, and here the band reimagines the number in a Latin vein that works surprisingly well. Feldstein’s oscillating rhythms, and Einerson percussive piano maintain the number’s cohesiveness. Another bop mainstay is Horace Sliver’s “Nica’s Dream”. While Silver’s Quintet  original version, which was recorded in 1960 for Blue Note under the title Horace-Scope, had a boppish Latin flavour, the VJE has pushed the envelope further with a samba flair giving a compelling rendition of the number.

’Tis Autumn
Tin Tin Deo
From This Moment On
You Stepped Out Of A Dream
Speak No Evil
Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered
I Cover The Waterfront
This I Dig Of You;
Tones For Joan’s Bones
Nica’s Dream

—Pierre Giroux

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