Monday, February 15, 2010
It's been a long time since I've heard a real acoustic jazz album. I figured in this day and age it's impossible to make one. Antonio, with the release of your new album "Lagos Blues" you proved making an authentic acoustic jazz album is feasible and enjoyable as well. DL Media-the company that handles PR for the record label you're signed to-sent me this album last month. I liked the album right away, and I planned to review it. But, I got sidetracked. Paul Sipio of DL Media emailed me a few days ago wanting to know if I'd listened to your album, and if I planned to comment about it. Yesterday, I finally found the time to give the album my undivided attention. "Lagos Blues" is a wonderful album. It was clever using two tenor saxophonists Steve Grossman, who captured the public eye playing with trumpeter Miles Davis. Grossman is at top form on your album. He still has a rich and voluptuous sound. Stacy Dillard is impressive as well. If you hadn't already put him on the payroll permanently, you should because to the man can blow. Your album probably wouldn't be as good as it is without his contribution. So rewarding him with full-time employment status is reasonable and deserved. Actually, Dillard sounds as if he studied with Grossman for years. Like Grossman Dillard's tone is massive. And he knows a thing or two about playing a ballad. I salute you for not being over-protective with your sidemen, and giving each room to stretch out. Not many bandleaders would be okay with their sidemen outshining them. I don't have a favorite track. I enjoyed each tune you chose for the album equally, particularly when you soloed on "Reflections In D/Sentimental Mood. It was tender and it sounded as if your fingers were crying as they glided across the piano keys. Antonio, "Lagos Blues" is the first real jazz album that I"ve listened to in a long time.