Musicians always strive to capture the spirit and energy of a live performance in the recording studio—a formidable challenge with the mirror of the live audience. With “Night and Day,” the brilliant alto saxophonist Vincent Herring achieves this elusive goal unequivocally. Renowned for his soulful and powerfully expressive playing, Herring is joined on the front line for six pieces by the equally combustible trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. The rhythm section of Mike LeDonne on piano, Brandi Disterheft on bass, and Joe Farnsworth on drums are ideally suited to the fierce energy and take-no-prisoners context, performing with exuberant fire and impeccable taste throughout.
The time honored legacy of jazz is to look upon its heritage to build its future. The remarkable organist Pat Bianchi is totally dedicated to that tradition, which is in full evidence on his extraordinary new CD, “A Higher Standard.” With his outstanding arrangements and the shared commitment of the other members of his trio—guitarist Craig Ebner and longtime associate Byron Landham on drums—Pat delivers a scintillating and captivating set of ten sonic landscapes. Building upon Larry Young’s liberation of the instrument from its previous confines, Bianchi combines fiery adventurousness with a highly lyrical imagination, equally at play on beautiful ballads and blazing drivers.
Also this week, reedman Grant Stewart pares his ensemble down to a threesome for the first time on disc with “Trio”; pianist Dana Landry presents a swinging set of tunes from the golden age of song with his quartet on “Standard Elevation”; and saxophonist Tom Tallitsch includes trombonist Michael Dease and keyboardist Brian Charette in his sextet for “All Together Now.”