March 1999

Giacomo Gates
Fly Rite
Sharp Nine

Singer Giacomo Gates has mastered baritone bravado: he has a lovely, deep sound, and matches that with a deep affection for jazz. He has a strong sense of melody that emerges in his scat work, and generates considerable heat as it moves between the registers of his voice. There are a few moments where a phrase seems not to fall naturally for him, but the same could be said of Eddie Jefferson, a Gates icon whose lyrics are represented twice in this session. The repertoire also includes his own lyrics to Monk's "Epistrophy," dubbed "Fly Rite," and Lee Morgan's "Speed Ball." The success of the recording owes considerably to Gates' supporting players: David Hazeltine on piano, Peter Washington on bass, Ben Riley on drums, and Jim Rotondi on trumpet and flugelhorn.

Originally published in March 1999
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