Doug Lawrence, tenor sax; Ray Macchiarola, guitar; Tardo Hammer, piano; John Webber, bass; Leroy Williams, drums
Fable Records FRDL 01 (59.54)
Mr Lawrence and his team hit the spot immediately and carry this quality session right through eight varied Jazz standards and show tunes with two from Doug's pen.
Doug's sound is a composite of Zoot Sims and Charlie Rouse with occasional Dexter-isms thrown in for good measure - he is a delight whether pursuing "Mr Kenyatta" or dancing dreamily through "For Heavens Sake". He is matched by Ray's expert guitar work which is out of the Jimmy Raney school and suits this quintet just fine. If that wasn't enough, the comparisons continue with pianist Tardo showing favourable signs of the funky Hampton Hawes in his playing. Webber and Williams fill out the rhythm section with a mature and uplifting backing, taking their own solo spots with relish.
An enjoyable slice of ageless modern Jazz.
by Al Merritt
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, May 2003 issue, all rights reserved