Scott Whitfield

Live at Charlie O's

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Scott Whitfield and his quintet are in great form throughout this live set recorded at Charlie O's in Los Angeles. The trombonist assembled some of his favorite musicians since relocating to the West Coast after a decade long stay in New York City, including the robust tenor saxophonist Roger Neumann (who doubles on soprano sax and flute), pianist John Rangel (with guest Bob Florence subbing on four selections), bassist Jennifer Leitham and drummer Kendall Kay. His compositions are particularly impressive. "Postage Due" is an outstanding opener, a lively bop vehicle that showcases each of the bandmembers in turn. Whitfield's lush ballad "A Message from the Captain" deserves to have lyrics if it doesn't already, while the gentle bossa nova "Sunset Dreams" features the unusual blend of trombone and flute. "Spring's Kiss" is a barely disguised reworking of the standard "All the Things You Are" that swings like mad. Whitfield adds his warm vocals to two of his favorite ballads, "Let's Get Lost" and "You Go to My Head." But the most compelling track may be the wild Brazilian-flavored treatment of "Bye Bye Blues," which ventures far away from traditional approaches to this warhorse. Highly recommended.

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