Jim Rotondi: 'At the Bird's Eye'

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Back in the '70s, soul-jazz albums featuring a tight trumpeter and saxophonist backed by a deep groove organist and persistent drummer. Prestige Records probably turned out more recording of that genre than most other lables—with organists like Don Patterson, Charles Earland, Richard “Groove" Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff and Leon Spencer Jr. The front line often featured saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. and trumpter Virgil Jones, with Idris Muhammad behind them on drums. [Pictured at top: Jim Rotondi]

On trumpeter and flugelhornist Jim Rotondi's new album Hard Hittin' at the Bird's Eye (Sharp Nine), those '70s days are back. Recorded live in Basel, Switzerland, Rotondi is joined by tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, organist Renato Chicco and drummer Bernd Reiter. Rotondi has a tart, lyrical attack that's rich with melodic, penetrating lines. Alexander complements him perfectly with a powerful, slippery tone. 

But the sound that bonds the group is Chicco's organ. Chicco [pictured] is astonishingly '70s accurate and so dexterous there's no need for a guitar or bass. He manages to fill all of the spaces with deft riffs and multiple textures. Give a listen to Amsterdam After Dark and Higher Calling. You'll hear four musicians working like roller-derby teammates—hurling each other forward with velocity for solos. Some pretty fancy skating here.

This is one of my favorite albums of the year—and doubly astonishing considering it's a live date. You'd never know an audience was in attendance. 

JazzWax tracks: You'll find Jim Rotondi's Hard Hittin' at the Bird's Eye (Sharp Nine) here.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

Post a comment

Tags

Shop Amazon

Jazz News

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.