Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Jeff Zelnick: A Little More Than the Blues

Alto saxophonist Jeff Zelnick delivers a lot more than the blues via inventive changes and expressive solos. The seven-track debut CD features six originals and an upbeat treatment of “C’est Si Bon.” Zelnick takes “Ten” into a deep groove to trade bop riffs with incredibly fluid trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, who later contributes an imaginative solo on “When Then Was Now.” Zelnick turns to a bossa for “Let Me Ask You This,” then pours out a honey-smooth melody line for “Joanna’s Sweet Smile.” Pianist Alan Rosenthal’s solos are harmonically expressive, especially on “There, There!” Bassist Steve Doyle and drummer Eric Halvorson add enriching resonance and selective propellant to the mix. The title track is a brief but bold blues that puts the spotlight on each member of this superb quintet.

Originally Published