Rich Corpolongo

Just Found Joy

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Delmark has been great about documenting Chicago-based musicians who are respected locally, but little known outside of the Windy City. A good example is Rich Corpolongo, who had been playing post-bop and avant-garde jazz around Chicago for decades when, in 1995, Delmark finally gave him a chance to record as an leader. The reedman sticks to his own compositions on his debut album, Just Found Joy, a varied effort that finds him joined by Chicagoans Larry Luchowski (piano), Eric Hochberg (acoustic and electric bass), and Mike Raynor (drums, percussion). Corpolongo's pieces range from difficult, abstract numbers like "Try To, If You Can" and "Time Impulse" to the smoky, dusky "Hey, What's Happening," the congenial "La Blues," and the impressionistic "Valse." Corpolongo is heard on the alto and soprano sax as well as the clarinet, and he sees to it that this decent, if imperfect, debut is far from predictable. It's regrettable that the Chicagoan waited so long to record as a leader.

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