Professionally speaking, the amalgamation of saxman Wayne Escoffery and second-generation jazz singer Carolyn Leonhart (daughter of Jay, who can hold his own on vocals nearly as well as on bass) dates to summertime 2004, when Leonhart guested on Escoffery’s Intuition, superbly augmenting the bold majesty of his audacious take on “I Should Care.” Their personal union was confirmed a half-year later, with an informal wedding ceremony at New York’s Poets House. The pair subsequently teamed on Leonhart’s wildly intelligent New 8th Day. But, as advocated by Escoffery in David Adler’s liner notes, it is this disc-Leonhart’s Nagel Heyer debut-that represents “our sound, for the first time.” It would be unfair to suggest that Escoffery elevates Leonhart’s musicianship, for she was soaring mighty high before they ever collaborated. Likewise, he had carved out a singular, post-Coltrane niche for himself well before she was on his scene.
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