Seriously creative piano-led jazz Randy Hoexter – FROMAGE: Ha! Ha! The title alone should give you a clue… “Fromage” is fresh cheese from France, and the tunes on this album are all from the “pop” genre (meaning they could be construed as “cheezy”)… but, in Randy’s oh-so-qualified hands, the tunes take on a life of their own, and he renders seriously creative piano-led jazz that you won’t soon abandon. One of the best examples of that creativity is the group’s performance of a soft-rock hit called “Muskrat Love“… the tune literally JUMPS out at your ears with the kind of vitality and verve that only true jazz masters can realize; definitely one of my favorite tunes from the album!
While I SUBSCRIBED to Randy’s YouTube channel, there weren’t any LIVE performances from the new album there… it would be nice to see a couple videos from the album posted there (soon, hint! hint!).
In addition to Randy’s superb piano and arrangements, you’ll also get to hear Jimmy Haslip on bass; Sam Skelton’s saxophones, bass clarinet, clarinet, flute; Trey Wright on guitar; Tom Knight and Dave Weckl doing drums, Mike Barry and Gordon Vernick on trumpet/flugelhorn; Eric Alexander’s trombone; Angie Driscoll’s dynamic vocals; Kit Chatham playing congas, djembe, cajon and Eric Sanders on triangle, shaker… Angie’s vocal on the classic “Honey/Dies Irae” (by Thomas of Celano)… the group truly brings the song to life, and they make it their own!
It was the high-energy opener, “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” (a tune composed by Bob Stone for Cher) that (easily) won my vote for personal favorite of the eleven fantastic songs offered up for your sonic adventure… this one alone makes the purchase of the album well worth it.
I give Randy and all of his players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.98 for this great release. Get more information on Randy’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
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