Ed Polcer

Let's Do It

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Ed Polcer's favorite way to perform is to get together with equally talented musicians and play without any charts whatsoever. That's exactly how this one-day session took place in early 2003, and the cornetist claims there were no second takes. In addition to the leader, the group includes trombonist Dan Barrett, clarinetist Allan Vache, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Frank Tate, drummer Joe Ascione, and vibraphonist John Cocuzzi, the latter a talent deserving of much wider recognition than he has received. Part of the reason for the great success is the familiarity of the players with one another, as they have crossed paths on earlier recording dates and numerous jazz parties. Their ability to keep their solos short and sweet without egos getting in the way is obvious throughout the session. The program is laden with time-tested standards such as "September in the Rain," "This Can't Be Love," and "I Thought About You." But there's also music like "Bernie's Tune" (a favorite of cool musicians such as Gerry Mulligan) and the old pop hit "If I Didn't Care," which is not typically heard in a jazz setting. One track omits Polcer, who was temporarily out of the studio on the phone; Cocuzzi wrote a tune on the spot and sang "Marielle," a tribute to his baby daughter, to complete the date. This bluesy number has some delicious blues licks by Barrett, Vache, and Shane.