Autumn in Saratoga: Vol. 3
Pianist Cole Broderick is a promising talent whose Autumn in Saratoga is part of a projected four-part series of seasonal tributes to his upstate New York home of Saratoga Springs. A graduate of the classical curriculum of the University of Miami School of Music, Broderick is a player still searching for his voice. Joining the quest are Marcus Benoit (tenor sax/flute), Rob Kovacs (drums), and Tony Marvelli and Ray Jung (sharing bass chores).
On such politely funky fare as "Potato Pancakes" and "Gaffney's Courtyard," Broderick takes a page from Les McCann. For the Latin-flavored "Jubilee," one hears echoes of Monty Alexander. McCann and Alexander are, of course, serviceable models. For the moment, though, Broderick's playing is more a pastiche than a rigorously integrated style. Just as promising is tenorman Benoit, whose red-blooded soloing adds grit and passion.
Programmatically, the only track embellishing the autumnal theme is the leader's attractive "Autumn in Saratoga." - Chuck Berg