Jim Rotondi Quintet


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On his fourth Criss Cross release, trumpeter Jim Rotondi enlists alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo for his front line, sending his usual partner, Eric Alexander, on furlough. The alto/trumpet color has deep historical resonance, being the sound that introduced bebop to the world. Rotondi and DiRubbo, along with their bandmates Anthony Wonsey on piano, John Webber on bass, and Willie Jones III on drums, are steeped in this tradition, as well as the hard bop of later years. Their command of the music comes through strongly on covers of Cedar Walton's intricate bossa "N.P.S.," Jimmy Rowles' classic ballad "The Peacocks," Walter Davis, Jr.'s blistering rhythm changes tune "Davis Cup," and Joe Henderson's easygoing 16-bar blues "Step Lightly." Three band originals lead off the record, however, beginning with DiRubbo's fast "Skip's Blues" (with a truncated form) and continuing with Rotondi's 3/4 Latin title track and Wonsey's slightly gospel-tinged "Lenny's Lens." For good measure, Rotondi includes (and plays fl├╝gelhorn on) a bossa arrangement of Carole King's "It's Too Late." He dedicates the album to his father, who passed away roughly one month before the recording date.

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