THE EXCITING NEW LIVE JAZZ ALBUM COMBINATIONS BY ERIC JACOBSON AND ERIC SCHOOR IS BEING RELEASED MARCH 7
Combinations, trumpeter Eric Jacobson’s third CD as a leader (which he co-leads with tenor-saxophonist Eric Schoor), is being released by Brian Lynch’s Hollistic MusicWorks label on March 7. A record release party featuring the sextet heard on the CD will be held that night at the Jazz Estate, the same club in which the music was recorded. This is a major straight ahead jazz release that is certain to gain much attention.
Combinations features five of the Milwaukee area’s finest musicians, trumpeter Eric Jacobson, tenor-saxophonist Eric Schoor, pianist Barry Velleman, bassist Jeff Hamann and drummer David Bayles, plus special guest trumpeter Brian Lynch. Their fiery music is a consistently exciting brand of hard bop reminiscent at times of a classic Blue Note session from the 1960s. However the musicians do not copy the past but are creative within the vintage style, playing with passion, intensity and joy. To say that fireworks occur would be a major understatement.
On Combinations, the full group explores four jazz standards (Dizzy Gillespie’s “Birks Works,” Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream,” Charlie Parker’s “Passport” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is”) and an original apiece by Jacobson (“Combinations”) and Schoor (“Mayors and Miners”). In addition, Lynch is showcased on an outstanding version of “What’s New.” With the exception of “What’s New” (which is both warm and explosive), all of the performances are taken at brisk tempos and swing hard. Among the highlights are the riffing by the trumpeters behind Schoor’s tenor on a version of “Birks Works” that is worthy of the Jazz Messengers, the stirring trumpet tradeoff on “Passport,” Jacobson’s cooking and swinging “Combinations,” and the way Lynch tears into “Nica’s Dream.” This is jazz at its most exciting.
With its colorful solos by Jacobson (whose two previous CDs as a leader are Inspiration and Two A.M. Live At The Jazz Estate), Lynch, Schoor and pianist Velleman, spirited ensembles that are driven by bassist Hamann and drummer Bayles, and infectious spirit, Combinations is a CD that will be thoroughly enjoyed by all lovers of adventurous music and modern straight ahead jazz. The enthusiasm of the musicians along with their creative ideas are impossible to resist.
By Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including Trumpet Kings, Bebop, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76