Glenn Zottola “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning”

Glenn Zottola – Reflections of Charlie Parker
From : Classic Jazz Records
For a man known for excesses of all kinds – musical and behavioral – Charlie Parker had the most unique way of ending his improvised phrases. Ever notice that? Some ended biting and abrupt, others were long tone vibratoed or they cascaded down a scale by way of his magnificent fingers. It was as if he was letting his genius-generated ideas fly off like bubbles from a child’s soap bubble wand here, there and everywhere. They’re for listeners to absorb and be touched. Now, listen to Glenn Zottola here on Reflections of Charlie Parker, this splendid ten tune Parker tribute. He exhibits a similar improvisational sense but that’s just one of the interesting jewels to be found on this superior recording.
For those who might not be aware, Zottola is not only a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing trumpet and alto and tenor saxophones, but, he’s been a child prodigy, talent show winner, musical director, music biz entrepreneur, composer – you name it and name who he’s performed with, just see the Encyclopedia of Jazz for starters. So, it’s no surprise that Zottola, always looking for new musical vistas, would select one of jazz’s greatest artists to salute here.
The Zottola alto sound is an engaging and inviting one. Sweeter than harsh, smoother than biting, it’s the perfect sonic platform for the GAS ballad material offered (“Moonlight in Vermont,” “Embraceable You”). Listen to and soak up his lyrical, gorgeous take on “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” (Yes, Mother, he’s played with Frank. Can’t you tell?). Wisely, Zottola understands both Parker’s awesome technical skills and his own substantial chops (“I May Be Wrong”). Thus, on the up-tempo material here (“Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Three Little Words”) Zottola swings without attempting to imitate the inimitable (Although a keen ear will catch a slick Bird lick or two). One other point of interest that solidifies Zottola’s incredible talent: as both a trumpeter and a saxophonist, he never, not here or anywhere else I’ve heard him, plays the saxophone with a trumpeter’s mindset (and vice versa). Now that’s something that Bird, Diz and Miles would really dig. They’d dig Reflections of Charlie Parker, too!
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