On Stellar Sax, Cleveland-based tenorist Ernie Krivda continues to display a captivating originality in both his playing and his composing. He complements his unique, forward-thrusting improvising style with compositions that, although logically constructed and tuneful, often do not fit into the squared-off AABA formal mode and frequently avoid strict stylistic classification. One example of the latter is his “Adagio,” which the composer describes as a “marriage of the baroque, the tango and the jazz ballad.” Indeed, Krivda’s compositions are worthy for their intrinsic value and not merely as vehicles for improvisation, although they serve that function well.
Krivda’s colleagues for this recording are his regular working band, and they exhibit the high degree of sensitive interaction long-term collaboration fosters. The youthful trumpeter Dominic Farinacci, always a strong postbop soloist, continues to progress. As the trumpeter does, the veteran guitarist Bob Fraser plays delightfully melodic and swinging lines. Fraser, bassist Jeff Halsey and drummer Carmen Intorre seemingly are of one mind when it comes to keeping the time. And the latter listens carefully to the soloists, supporting their lines with relevant, inspirational figures of his own.