Ernie Krivda

The Glory Strut

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Ernie Krivda's third album in a trilogy for the Inner City label has him more profoundly acknowledging his roots and influences while also defining his inexhaustible voice on the tenor sax that by this time claimed distinction and a recognizable, personalized sound. A program of originals and standards, Krivda and his obscure but talented combo play some of his compositions that, indeed, are as impressive as anything in modern jazz, memorable and powerful beyond compare, and mark him as one of the most promising new performers heading for true glory in the 1980s. This album, and his previous two -- Satanic (1977) and The Alchemist (1978) -- are all reissued on CD, where the progressions of his music from recording to recording are stark and on display for all music lovers to note how he had evolved. "Sad Guitar Summer" is, for Krivda, a triumph, as the group merges from coursing rumbling to mournful serene motifs as the tenorman's emotive and highly bluesy troubadour sound weaves its way from heart to heart. Equally effective and epic is "Night & the Fox" in its wild abandon, as the heavy chords of pianist Dan Maier lights the fuse of Krivda's explosive, kinetic, crazy, and cartoonish sax lines. The album is bookended by compositions clearly influenced by Horace Silver, as the title track is an extended version of "The Preacher" in a humorous, good-time, handclapping-induced gospel soup. "The Horace Thing" is the sly blues, going from the funky shuffle to easy swing that Silver favors. Of the standards, "Easy to Love" is a hip, moderately swinging interpretation where Krivda's chuckling sax teases at romance, while "Be My Love" has a Latin tinge in its bop frame, with tied note slurs and lots of energy identifying this lesser-known song. The remarkable energy Krivda generates, and the wealth of ideas consistently streaming forth makes The Glory Strut his best effort, a definitive album in modern jazz, and one well-worth seeking.