Bob Albanese: Friendly Fire
Bob Albanese Trio with Ira Sullivan
One Way/Detour (Zoho ZM200905)
Composed by Bob Albanese.
Recorded: Jupiter, Florida, January 27 or 28, 2008
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
Bob Albanese is Ben Vereen's pianist. I hope Mr. Vereen knows how lucky he is. On "Friendly Fire" (the pianist's tune based on both the melody and changes to "What Is This Thing Called Love"), Albanese proves himself a consummate mainstream/modern improviser who's absorbed the lessons of such post-bop masters as Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. Albanese possesses a variable touch and lissome manner of phrasing, and he's a remarkably sensitive and creative accompanist. He's joined by an old master, saxophonist Ira Sullivan, who's long seemed content to do his thing within the confines of Florida, to the disadvantage of the jazz world at large. Sullivan possesses the old-school virtues of spontaneity and non-contrivance—qualities which are often at a premium among a younger set of straight-ahead players. Tom Kennedy is a hard-swinging, extraordinarily agile bassist, and drummer Willard Dyson inherits all the best musical characteristics of the late Tony Williams. A fine, energetic performance by a first-rate collection of musicians.
Reviewer: Chris Kelsey