Rudy Linka: Simple Pleasures

Berklee’s far-reaching influence is evident in the musical evolution of Rudy Linka, who was born in Czechoslovakia and elected to remain in the U.S. after receiving his music education in Boston. On Simple Pleasures (MidLantic), his 10th recording as leader, he’s joined by bassist Dan Fabricatore and drummer Kenny Wollesen, a longtime associate. Linka’s affinity and familiarity with a wide array of material and genres dictate the project’s direction, which moves from an understated version of Joni Mitchell’s “California” to a raucous effects-laden original called “Where Is My Delay Pedal?” to the fluent forays on Sam River’s “Beatrice” to a novel treatment of “Autumn Leaves,” which melds an atypically slow tempo with a rock guitar tone and a jazz approach to the chord changes. Linka’s musical stew may be too heavy for those looking for a more pure and lean jazz dish, but the playing is good and hearty.