Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lenny Sendersky, Tony Romano, Desert Flower

If I am a little late posting on this one, I apologize to the artists. It's not because the album today is less worthy. I've been pummeled with promos so much that my on-deck stacks have been in need of serious pruning. This one slipped into limbo as a result. Nonetheless this is solid.

I speak of course of the co-led Lenny Sendersky-Tony Romano group and their album Desert Flower (LeTo). Lenny plays alto and soprano, Tony is on acoustic classical guitar. They gather together a hip congregation of heavies in Steve LaSpina on upright bass, and Matt Kane at the drums. Then they add some guests of note for two cuts each--the inimitable Randy Brecker on trumpet, vibes vet Joe Locke and singer Cleve Douglass.

The main attraction are the co-leaders. Each supplies four originals and they are tuneful, harmonically active ones that set the table well for soloing. A standard, "Nature Boy" is there. And then there's a not-so-well-known Duke Ellington number, "My Fathers Island." The very out-front, original vocals of Cleve Douglass makes this song come very much alive. I'd play it if I had a radio show.

Lenny gives us a gorgeous tone and he has good ideas. Tony has a very well-schooled mainstream bossa-to-postbop versatility that comes through in artistic ways. He is someone to hear, surely.

The band cooks, solos are sparkling, and in the end one feels satisfied that good jazz has happened.

Nice one!

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