Ron Holloway: Groove Update

Tenor man Ron Holloway, he of the original and passionate sound, protege of Sonny Rollins, suggests that his desire with this recording was to balance forethought and spontaneity, unity through diversity; a noble goal indeed. He balances the acoustic and the electric-piano and Hammond B-3 organ, acoustic and electric bass, recognizing the fact that broadening the coloration of his grooves is one of the keys to a fresh outing.

Bearing a tart tenor intensity, never let it be said that Ron Holloway doesn’t play it from the heart. The disc has its share of delightful touches: try his contemporary take on “Epistrophy,” check out the tuba on “Lulu’s Back In Town,” Ron’s cute quote of “If I Only Had A Brain” during his solo on “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans.” “Three Miles Down” employs the voice of Holloway cohort Gil Scott-Heron, and its political theme unleashes all the outrage the leader’s tenor can muster. The tracks with trumpeter Chris Battistone reveal the lockstep relationship they’ve developed. There is very nearly a survey of great jazz tunes feel to this date, what with the largely familiar repertoire of New Orleans to bop to hard bop to fusion and funk.

Willard Jenkins

Willard Jenkins has covered jazz artists, performances, and the jazz infrastructure since his early-’70s undergrad days writing for The Black Watch student newspaper at Kent State University. Additionally, he has been a jazz broadcaster since 1973— currently programming at WPFW in Washington, D.C.—and a jazz concerts and festivals presenter since 1978. He currently serves as artistic director of the DC Jazz Festival and artistic director of jazz programming at Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NYC). A founding member of the Jazz Journalists Association, he is also a recipient of its Lifetime Achievement award.