Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ernie Krivda At The Tri-C Jazz Fest Cadence Jazz Records 2013

Making old school new cool is indeed the Ernie Krivda wheelhouse. For the uninitiated, perhaps the best tenor saxophonist you may have never heard.

Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

Cleveland has several fixtures that make it such an incredibly special place. The Browns, Indians and Ernie Krivda come to mind for this jazz writer and not necessarily in that order. Krivda is a master of the post bop style fusing the lyrical intensity of a Sonny Rollins with the subtle nuances of a Dexter Gordon into a uniquely personal style not heard from any tenor player that immediately leaps to mind. If it is possible, Krivda may have released more recordings than years I have been alive on this planet but let us move past the numbers and focus on Ernie Krivda at the Tri-C Jazz Fest.

Krivda has that special something, grit. It takes a certain amount of grit not to mention mind blowing talent to take on a set list which includes iconic work from Dexter Gordon, Monk, Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and the great Benny Golson and bang it out with the type of flair and panache that some players spend an entire career searching for but never achieve. Another key ingredient to this release which was recorded in 2008 and 2009 at the Tri-C Jazz Fest would have to be the supporting ensembles from both gigs. Far more than just an afterthought, Claude Black on piano, Marion Hayden on bass and Renell Gonsalves round out a formidable 4tet on the 2009 selections while Peter Dominguez on bass and Ron Godale on drums turn in a similar performance on the 2008 recorded tune "I Remember Clifford."

Straight ahead jazz has undergone a metamorphosis. Young players are coming into the fold with the speed is king mentality and the desire to hang out in odd meter well...just to prove a self indulgent point. Ernie Krivda embraces a beautiful melody with passion and the type of old school elegance that is seemingly lost with some players today. The more things change, the more they stay the same and when you are comfortable with exactly where you're wheelhouse is as an artist then you get Ernie Krivda.

Tracks: Cheesecake; Round Midnight; Giant Steps; St. Thomas
Personnel: Ernie Krivda: tenor saxophone; Claude Black: piano; Marion Hayden: bass; Renell Gonsalves: drums.

Track: I Remember Clifford.
Personnel: Ernie Krivda: tenor saxophone; Peter Dominguez: bass; Ron Godale: drums.