A veteran and prominent member of the big bands of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, and Charlie Barnet, followed by years of playing in show bands at major Las Vegas hotels and gambling, It's Tru is tenor saxman Bill Trujillo's first album as a leader. Trujillo brings all of his years of experience to this outing. He also brings with him his Herman bandmate, the shamefully under-recognized and under-recorded trombonist, Carl Fontana. Fontana is on four cuts, including "Look for the Silver Lining," where he and Trujillo bring around '80 tears of jazz to their interpretation of this warhorse, putting new life in it. Pianist Ronnie DiFillips helps keep things moving by displaying his considerable pianistic chops on this tune. Fontana and Trujillo also do a nice, melodic job with the Kern/Hammerstein classic from Show Boat, "Make Believe." Trujillo's playing reveals the influences of the greats he has played with, or near, over his career, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, Lester Young, and Al Cohn. He recognizes a debt to Sims with his own composition, "Like Zoot." Trujillo shows his improvising and lyrical skills, and his sense for the music, on "Here's That Rainy Day." He shares the first chorus in slow time with pianist DiFillips, picks up the beat for the second, plays above the melody line on the third, and then returns to ballad style for the coda. This tune is followed by Fontana and Trujillo swinging out on "Shine," providing a nice change of pace. It's Tru is a very listenable mix of ballads and sophisticated swing music played by consummate practitioners of their art. Although no new ground is broken, the album documents a confident, relaxed, and pleasing musical statement made by two consummate jazz musicians.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan