Ernie Krivda

The Music of Ernie Krivda

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Ernie Krivda is sometimes thought of as a meat 'n' potatoes player simply because his unassumingly tight, logical, and rarely self-indulgent style consistently hits the mark. As he shows here, he is not only a solid soloist but a wonderful composer, too. Krivda contributed all the pieces on this album, and there is not a ringer in the lot, with several of the catchy tunes so well constructed that you might think you've heard them before. Krivda writes big-band compositions, resulting in the sextet sounding much larger than it is but also somewhat restricting the flexibility of the group. The saxophonist attracts a talented crew to record with him, the surprise being the spectacular young trumpeter Dominic Farinacci, who was 18 when this was recorded but who plays with a firmness, rough-hewn tone, and maturity that belie his youth. His roots are associated with Clifford Brown and the hard boppers, as Farinacci exudes confidence with a no-frills, upbeat approach. When he and Krivda trade bars, as on "Blue Hokum," they do so as equals and the perfectly executed lines mirror one another. Another standout (though, in fact, the whole band impresses) is guitarist Bob Fraser, whose laid-back improvisations provide a pleasant foil to the hard blowing of the horns. If nothing else, Krivda proves once again that he is a local talent by choice, and that his talents rank him in the upper tier of jazz performers.