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

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy: The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, the drummer/bandleader’s 15-piece collective, is all about big: big band, big sound, the big buzz they’ve generated during their Tuesday-night residency at Yoshi’s in the Bay Area. The band’s self-titled debut recording doesn’t stint on size, either. It’s a bold, brassy collection of R&B and funk-inflected tracks with no shortage of speed, soul and swing.

Igoe’s drumming, splashy and full of hard-hitting runs, solidly supports the ensemble, but the bandleader is happy to largely cede the spotlight to a gifted collection of musicians. Standouts include trombonist John Gove, whose fat tone and nimble slide work liven up Bob Berg’s “Friday Night at the Cadillac Club”; trumpeter Dave Len Scott, doing Arturo Sandoval proud on the Cuban maestro’s exultant “Caprichosos De La Habana”; and alto saxophonist Marc Russo, who wails jubilantly on “Mercy Mercy Mercy” and “Let the Good Times Roll.” Russo is joined on the latter by guest vocalist Kenny Washington, who also rings forth with a joyful wordless solo on “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” his crystal-clear voice a pleasing contrast to Aaron Lington’s deep-in-the-pocket baritone sax.

But thinking back on The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, it’s less the solos one remembers than the sheer driving force of the booming unison brass-and-reeds arrangements. Whether darting their fleet-footed way through the intricate lines of Joshua Redman’s “Jazz Crimes” or having a ball on guest bassist Michael League’s (Snarky Puppy) richly funk-ified “Quarter Master” (on which Igoe cuts loose with a ripping march-cadence solo), the TIGC brings high-flying energy and exhilarating musicianship to the table.

Listen to or download this album at iTunes.

Originally Published