My Heart Tells Me (Motema)
The prominent saxophonist Phil Woods endorsed “My Heart Tells Me,” alto saxophonist Bob Mover's new two-disc recording. Like Woods, Mover’s blowing has a downhome bop feel. On the first disc, Mover sings, and he blows on disc two. His singing is incomparable to his blowing. It’s still a mystery why some jazz saxophonists believe they can sing. Anyway, Mover’s blowing is strong enough to stand on its own merit. Go straight to disc two for proof of that ability. Its Mover’s blowing that makes “My Heart Tell Me” a good recording. But had he left the singing on the editing room floor “My Heart Tell Me” would’ve been supremely good.
California Concert (Jazz House)The concert took place at California State University in 1999. It was one of jazz guitarist Peter Leitch’s favorite dates as a bandleader. Leitch had pianist John Hicks, bassist David Williams, and drummer Billy Higgins in the band. Because the recording is a re-mastered bootleg, the sound quality is poor. But the playing is outstanding, especially Hicks solo on the opener “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” and the closer “A Blues For Ivan Symonds/Theme”. When Higgins died in 2001 and Hicks five years later, they left bulletproof legacies. Arguably, one of the sweetest jazz drummers ever to grace this planet, Higgins swung above sea level throughout “My Heart Tells Me”. Leitch has a dual nature on guitar, a careful touch on slow tempo cuts. On blazing tempos, he’s a gangster.