Life is easy, people make it hard. Same goes for music.
Jordan Young's Cymbal Melodies streets on Sept. 11th 2012 and given the variety of tunes served up the transitions are seamless and obvious potential pitfalls are easily avoided. The key to any good tune is melody. There is what I consider a predominant school of thought among some younger musicians that hanging out in odd meter and the speed is king mentality is a sure ticket for jazz stardom. Never reharm a cover tune to the point the original composer would have a hard time recognizing his own work. Young doesn't. The release works so well because Young and this formidable 4tet allow the melody to take center stage. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" is turned into a shuffle beat with the intensity kicked up just a notch to breath fresh life into a perhaps tired classic. Sting's "Roxanne" is at the same time left essentially alone as is "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" made popular by Glen Campbell. At times a beautiful melody can and needs to stand alone. Brian Charette does an amazing job playing it essentially straight and has a harmonic foundation as solid as any organ player working today. Guitarist Avi Rothbard and saxophonist Joe Sucato work with the same sense of lyrical integrity to combine for an incredibly entertaining release. Should this 4tet continue working together and with this level of proficiency then the sky is the limit.
"Best Thing For You Is Me" from Irving Berlin has just the right amount of pop to it without bordering on the easy listening on steroids factor others have given the tune. Young contributes two originals in "Bird Bath" and "Mood For McCann" which sound like standards waiting in the on deck circle. As a drummer, Jordan Young has an innate ability to swing and play with the type of finesse that other players twenty years his senior struggle with. An exciting young talent to keep an eye on!
Another Posi-Tone debut that takes 5 stars easy. This is old school made new cool and done the right way.
Tracks: By The Time I Get To Phoenix; Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head; Free Wheelin; Ghost Of A Chance; Roxanne; Grandstand; Best Thing For You Is Me; Bird Bath; Mood For McCann; Easy Living.
Personnel: Jordan Young: drums; Brian Charette: organ; Avi Rothbard: guitar; Joe Sucato: saxophone.