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StepTempest reviews Jordan Young “Cymbal Melodies”…

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Detroit-native and University of Michigan graduate Jordan Young, drummer by trade, has issued his 2nd CD as a leader.  “Cymbal Melodies” is his debut for Posi-Tone Records and features organist Brian Charette, guitarist Avi Rothbard and, on several tracks, saxophonist Joe Sucato(a member of Young’s “working” band.)  The program consists of 6 “standards”, a pair of jazz tunes, a cover of The Police’s “Roxanne” and 2 original works by the drummer. The CD starts inauspiciously (to my ears) with a “poppy” version Jimmy Webb’s “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” (yes, it’s already considered a “pop” tune but this version sounds like the band is just getting warmed up.) The Trio stokes the fire much better on “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” with both Charette and Rothbard responding with plenty of vigor to Young’s percussive prodding.  Sucato adds his smooth tenor sax to a swinging take of Lee Morgan’s “Free Wheelin‘” but it’s the excellent organ solo that catches the ear.  Charette also takes the lead on Young’s boppish “Bird Bath” (don’t think it refers to Charlie Parker) – Rothbard, a native of Israel, digs into a strong solo as well.

Perhaps the most successful cover is the fine re-arrangement of “Roxanne” – the band (Sucato is the lead voice) ignores the Caribbean/reggae rhythm of the original, building the piece on the swirling organ chords and Young’s propulsive drums (he particularly shines beneath Rothbard’s angular solo.)  There’s also a subdued but swinging saxophone-drums take of Irving Berlin’s “Best Thing For Me Is You.”

“Subdued but swinging” is perhaps the best description for “Cymbal Melodies“.  The playing is quite good, the melodies are fine but it all seems to much of a “low-key” affair. However, if you dig the work of Brian Charette, he shines throughout.  For more information, go to www.posi-tone.com.


Written by editor

November 4th, 2012 at 2:17 pm