Monday, May 5, 2014

Ira Sullivan Presents the Jim Holman Trio, Special Guest Roger Humphries, Blue Skies

Ira Sullivan! Bop master of the tenor sax and trumpet, fixture of the Chicago and then the Florida scene, now 82 plus years young, still has the spark. You can hear it on Ira Sullivan Presents the Jim Holman Trio: Blue Skies (Delmark 5010). Two sessions from 2011-12 pit Sullivan with young pianist Jim Holman, his trio, and for five tracks includes drummer-legend Roger Humphries.

Bop-and-after is the medium and the message with a modernized feel. The hard bop anthem "Along Came Betty" gets good treatment, as does Miles' "Blue in Green," "Solar" and standards like "Someday My Prince Will Come" and "Just in Time".

The band swings nicely, especially with Maestro Humphries on drums, who sounds excellent here. Jim Holman swings and bops with some very good finesse. He's young but he's dug very deeply into the tradition and manages to sound less like somebody in particular and more like himself than you might expect at age 24. Ira sounds beautiful on both instruments, reminding us how seminal he has been and continues to be.

So there is a celebration of sorts to be heard here. Clearly everybody deeply digs in and shows their love and commitment to the music. That is cause for big smiles and a great set.

Oh, yeah!

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