Jon-Erik Kellso

The Chapter 2: Plot Thickens

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The modern swing revival, launched by Scott Hamilton and Warren Vache in the late 1970s (and preceding the Wynton Marsalis-led Young Lions by a few years), continues 20 years later. While guitarist Howard Alden (heard on this disc) came up in the second wave (along with Dan Barrett and Ken Peplowski), cornetist Jon-Erik Kellso and his main co-star on his Arbors set (tenor-saxophonist Harry Allen) can be considered leaders of the third wave. The music on Kellso's second CD as a leader is more swing than dixieland-oriented but there are some jammed (rather than arranged) ensembles along with plenty of spontaneity. The use of cellist Mike Karoub on seven numbers (he switches to bass on "Stompy Jones") works quite well while the versatile Scott Robinson's utilization of the eerie theremin on "Creole Love Call" in place of the voice is quite haunting. The only musician on the set who is over 40 is pianist John Bunch who filled in on the first two numbers when Jeremy Kahn's plane was late; the other players include Robinson on baritone, alto, clarinet and tenor, bassist Paul Keller and drummer Joe Ascione. Among the highlights are "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," "Tea for Two," "Three Little Words" and "Stompy Jones." Kellso, whose sound is sometimes a little reminiscent of Buck Clayton, is quickly becoming one of the leader's in his field and Chapter 2 is easily recommended as a fine example of late 1990's mainstream swing.

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