Body & Soul
Ernie Krivda is technically a fine tenor sax player, though his tone lacks coloration on uptempo tunes and runs syrupy on ballads. Despite those flaws, his newest CD is successful thanks to other soloists in the band and an excellent vocalist in Erin Kufel. Another plus: Krivda resuscitates some neglected standards along with past and present arrangers, including Fletcher Henderson, Billy Strayhorn, Bill Holman and Med Flory.
Body & Soul also features writing revelations from lead trombonist/arranger, Garney Hicks, who contributes three first-rate charts: “Midnight Sun,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and “Never Let Me Go,” the last of which, along with Don Turoso’s arrangement of “I Didn’t Know About You,” provide flattering balladic vehicles for Kufel, she of warm tones and understated dramatics. Kufel shows her true calling in Bill Holman’s way-up “Come Back to Me.” Dig the nimble comping of pianist Joe Hunter, allowing Kufel to soar. Also check the tight sax soli on “Honeysuckle Rose.”
Krivda’s best moments are in the three-tenor battle with Tommy First and Chris Burge on “Big Bad Band” and the title tune, which features his strongest solo.