Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet.
This band of young jazz musicians follows in the classy-cool tradition of Shorty Rogers & His Giants, a tasteful swinging late 50s-early 60s outfit led by a principal creator of the West Coast sound. Recorded in Cammilleri Hall in LA, this debut album sounds astoundingly good. Recorded live, it gives one the feeling of having a ringside seat at an intimate jazz club. It opens with a politely swinging rendition of Jerome Kern’s “I’m Old Fashioned” that’s underscored by drummer Andrew James Boyle’s deft brushwork at the intro. Every nuance of JJ Kirkpatrick’s bristling trumpet solo here can be readily felt while Boyle’s switch to sticks on the ride cymbal is like sparklers being set off in the dark. Boyle’s gentle ballad “Gone” is a lyrical highlight while the Ellington-Strayhorn song “Isfahan” is another showcase for Kirkpatrick’s bold tones and sly improvisations. Pianist Misha Bigos contributes the swinging “Finale” and delivers a dramatic solo piano piece, “Fields of Kurdistan,” while bassist Gary Wicks contributes the darkly beautiful “Night Night” and the somber “Weightless.” Kirkpatrick also turns in some bright trumpet work on a faithful rendition of Duke’s timeless “Sophisticated Lady.” A stellar first outing by a group that shows great promise.
The Absolute Sound, December 2014