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Ernie Krivda Quintet: Plays Ernie Krivda, Volume 2

Plays Ernie Krivda, Volume 2 contains the leftover tracks from a July 2003 session that produced Volume 1, with space considerations the only reason why these tracks were not released with the others. Tenorist Krivda possesses a readily identifiable style that features a fast-moving, staccato-like attack, utilization of the full range of his instrument, and a seemingly endless flow of original ideas on up-tunes, complemented by a warm lyricism on slower ones. The phenomenal young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci and guitarist Bob Fraser balance the leader’s aggressiveness with a somewhat more reserved approach but are still able to develop their well-constructed solos up to a high level of excitement. This collection of Krivda originals features another take of the gorgeous, Jobim-like, “Passage” that appeared on the earlier recording. Other highlights are “Three Legged Dance,” a complex mixed meter piece that requires and receives virtuoso treatment by all hands, and “Dele,” a three-minute solo tenor cadenza dedicated to Coleman Hawkins.

Focus on Stan Getz, recorded in concert at Cleveland’s Severance Hall, shows Krivda’s appreciation for the great tenorist’s “sensual sound” and “way of approaching music.” The first three tracks feature Krivda and a trio of performers who had worked with Getz-pianist Andy LaVerne, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Adam Nussbaum-playing tunes associated with the late legend. The remainder of the album is taken up by Eddie Sauter’s seven-part Third Stream suite “Focus,” whose original purpose in 1961 was to allow Getz to weave his improvised parts into the fabric of a symphonic-style orchestra. The quartet performances are outstanding, and though Krivda digs into “Stan’s Blues” with his typical aggressiveness, his playing displays an almost Getz-ian smoothness on Jobim’s beautiful “El Grande Amore.” But “Focus” is the piece de resistance. Whereas Getz overdubbed his part on the original recording, Krivda improvises his in the moment. And knowing the music well from his experience with the Getz version, he crafts consistently interesting and lovely lines that become an integral part of the orchestral score. Although Krivda’s personality always comes through, there are spots where his sound and phrasing do evoke Getz. The tenorist’s lucid liner notes help the listener follow the course of the music (though the tracks are listed out of order on the back of the CD case).

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