Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Richard Sorce Project - A Place I’ve Never Been

I am propelled to a small Brazilian nightclub in the 1950’s. Wide lapel striped suits, pencil thin mustaches, slicked back hair, and two toned patent leather shoes adorn the men. Curly, playful, short hair, form fitting, strapless, side bustled, below the knee evening gowns, accented by a fox or mink wrap, and pointy shoes with three inch high heels decorate the women.  The table is small.  In my dream I’m center stage, at a small black table with a sensuous woman smoking a cigarette through a long black cigarette holder.  We both have a martinis with double olives. From behind you can only see our dark profiles as the stage lights obscure us from view.

A latin jazz band begins to play and the sensuous strains evoke the best of Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Astrid Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Antonio Carlos Jobim. It is familiar yet completely original, dinner jazz on a grand scale and it has the desired effect.  A courtship dance begins.  A laugh, a touch, a look.  We are mellow and open to suggestion for the night.

But it is not the 1950’s.  I am not in Brazil.  I’m wearing jeans, a long sleeve T-shirt and skate shoes.  She has on a football jersey and sweats, no shoes, and her hair is just out of the shower.  The table is oak, neither of us smoke.  She has orange juice; I have coffee.  The stage is my 7.1 surround sound system with a 55 inch 4K HDTV monitor.  

The band is not from the 1950’s. Rather, it is The Richard Sorce Project and its 2014 all original jazz album, A Place I’ve Never Been.  In my mind it is already a jazz classic, right up there with Brubeck, Getz, Gilberto, Fitzgerald, Ellington, Pass, Ellis and Jobim.  It is comprised of 14 timeless, original, jazz compositions written by Richard Sorce and performed by a panoply of seasoned professional musicians.  The vocal tracks are made tasty by Michelle Encarnación who, with her silky voice is able to sing in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English.  Richard Sorce and his wife Barbara, make track 7, “When I’m With You”, a seductive duet.  There is  wonderful guitar by Russ Defilippis on every cut except the final track, “You’re the One”, where guitarist honors are given to Manuel Portillo.  The horn section is comprised of Vinnie Cutro on trumpet and flugelhorn; Mark Friedman on alto sax and flute; and two different trombonists who never appear together on the same track, Erick Storckman and Bob Ferrel. The sound is tremendous thanks to sound engineer Lou Gonzalez, owner of Quad Recording Studios.  

I pour a second cup of coffee sit down and look longingly at her across the kitchen table.  The music has given me an ulterior motive.  She is deep into the music, looks up from her newsreader, catches my stare and says, “Beba seu café e mantê-lo em suas calças. Basta ouvir a música.”  I blink in astonishment.  I didn’t know she knew Portuguese and I don’t speak it.  It sounded wonderful and sensual.  May be there is a little romantic hope?  Then, all hope was dashed by Google Translate. I listen and I’m immediately back in the nightclub.

-Old School
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1 comment:

Old School said...


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