Tony Lada

At Long Last

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Trombonist Tony Lada and alto saxophonist Larry Monroe pair up for a felicitous take on the oft-covered music of Cole Porter. Using a sextet featuring the talents of their fellow denizens of the Boston jazz scene, Lada and Monroe fashion a session quite distinct from the usual heads-and-solos blowing date while still remaining true to their chosen bebop idiom. Six of the arrangements were fashioned by Monroe, including a rapid-fire "Begin the Beguine" introduced by Monroe's ardent rendering of "Anything Goes." Here as elsewhere the chart features the horn ensemble playing long solo-like passages. Lada provides a waltz version of "I Get a Kick Out of You." The horns execute the tricky charts with aplomb and are not afraid to engage in some collective improvised give and take. Each has a distinctive solo voice. Monroe colors his bop stylings with growls and shouts as if struggling to contain his enthusiasm. Lada assays crisply rendered bop lines. Trumpeter Cervenka is suavely probing. The care in the preparation for the date and subsequent carefree execution make this a stellar example of contemporary bop.

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