Marc Mommaas, The Impressionist, Sunnyside ****

Why make a foray into reviewing The Impressionist? Most reviewers should address their motivation in reviewing anything in the first place before entering that essential fugue state of an enterprise. Without getting too deep in this case it was …

Published: 29 Aug 2022. Updated: 28 days.

Why make a foray into reviewing The Impressionist? Most reviewers should address their motivation in reviewing anything in the first place before entering that essential fugue state of an enterprise. Without getting too deep in this case it was seeing the name of Gary Versace, the pianist, here first up always a sign of quality when other names are less familiar.

Shoot us but we hadn't come across the tenor/soprano player Marc Mommaas before even though he has been around for a while and comes with a distinguished playing pedigree. Jay Anderson (Zappa, Joe Sample, Red Rodney) on bass though is another matter and is much more familiar. But guitarist Nate Radley again not so much and only a little on our radar via Puzzle People his very listenable-to record that had the great master of Sco know-how Adam Nussbaum and Anderson on it last year and issued by Steeplechase.

Together do these four gel and what else nudged us to review this beyond perusing names on a piece of paper? Yes - and ''the sound'' obviously meaning the immediate impact of a few notes. Just seconds into 'Nostalgia' you know you have to listen further. Ah that Versace connection again as he dominates the opening of the piece. Dutchman Mommaas has a spectacularly soft tone that Anderson does so much to decorate on 'Nostalgia' and Versace likewise on 'Fauré'. If, UK readers, you are a Stan Sulzmann fan especially when Stan plays a ballad you may well dig Mommaas. That's the connection we make as a new listener to his approach. Radley's John Abercrombie-like delicate dance of an introduction on the title track is an album highlight and The Impressionist is stocked full of gorgeous melodies often inspired by classical composer Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) as that earlier track mention more clearly indicated in its overt naming.

Don't worry this isn't an album that is designed as if by robot to appeal to both jazz and classical listeners which isn't always possible or desirable anyway as too many compromises often have to be made.

The original material is strong and the group interplay is sincere. Final thought for you dear reader - what do subjective opinions count for - you may well ask? You might mutter ''nothing''. The reviewers are all ''tin-eared''. Or, softening a tad, ''depends on who is saying it''. We go for gut instinct drawn from such knowledge that we have picked up over the years as listeners. That's it. The rest surely is conversation but it's good to talk long into the night about a record as inspiring as The Impressionist. You may well be doing just that if you make today a Mommaas Monday. Marc Mommaas, top. Photo: press

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Steve Gadd, Eddie Gómez, Ronnie Cuber, WDR Big Band, I Can't Turn You Loose, Leopard ****

Today's track of the day and new in the 1 luv spot where we pick a noteworthy track to concentrate on from a new or upcoming release we land today in an Otis Redding vein on 'I Can't Turn You Loose' from 1965 covered on a new big band version and …

Published: 29 Aug 2022. Updated: 28 days.

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Today's track of the day and new in the 1 luv spot where we pick a noteworthy track to concentrate on from a new or upcoming release we land today in an Otis Redding vein on 'I Can't Turn You Loose' from 1965 covered on a new big band version and included on the upcoming Leopard release Center Stage - note the American spelling of the first word, fellow misspellers tempted to use the UK-Ireland English rendering - by members of the Gadd Gang at its heart out on 23 September.

Here drum icon Steve Gadd, the Bill Evans legend bassist Eddie Gómez and baritone saxophonist's baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber are in the considerable company of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia radio, TV station and online backed Cologne outfit who to many, ourselves included, are Europe's greatest most versatile jazz big band the WDR, directed here by Michael Abene. Recorded back in February it's groover boomer manna.

While digging the vibe we also tunnel down to when the Gadd Gang released the tune before on the Richard Tee aranged 1988 Columbia record Here & Now several of whose tracks are also included on Center Stage to make the new album cut - a time when guitar great Cornell Dupree (1942-2011) on that record was still around.

'50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' legend Gadd remains a force of nature and model for jazz drummers everywhere as we discovered at a Blicher-Hemmer-Gadd Lost Lane gig in Dublin in 2019 and who not only need but want to groove in a natural vein in whatever style or idiom of record but with a jazz feel always somewhere there deep down in spirit - body and soul - raising us up, the discipline of his method tapping the universal vibrations in the air somehow.