Glenn Zottola “Getting Sentimental” Review by Jazz writer Nick Mondello.
Our culture – and within that one of its bedrocks, our music – is in somewhat of a topsy-turvy, push-the-envelope-to-the-extremes flux. What excites or tempts, even repulses irrespective of good taste, is attractive and what formerly passed as beauty is bad toast. If it’s not “hot,” it’s not. The music in “Getting Sentimental,” from trumpeter Glenn Zottola is the antipodal musical pole from entertainment icons and hit-makers such as “twerker,” Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga (actually a homonym from the Italian meaning to defecate) and hip-hopper, Nicky Minaj (no talent, therefore no comment deserved), et al. His is an offering of exquisite taste, talent and beauty that is a throwback to days when talent and taste trumped exposed or undulating body parts – what author, Tom Wolfe once told me they were like “glistening giblets.” This is simply a gorgeous recording reminiscent of the classic 1960s Bobby Hackett-Jackie Gleason collaborations. Brilliantly covering nine Great American Songbook ballad standards and performing them over lush material drawn from Irv Kratka’s Classic Jazz treasures, Zottola’s lush trumpet and singing style is hypnotically sensuous. I’d swear that there is a Sinatra, a Bennett, or a Hartman hiding in that horn of his. His playing approach values melody over technique – although, rest assured he has plenty of that – and beauty over finger-wiggling. There are very obvious shades of the great Clifford Brown here and Zottola’s sound is Grand, as in “Canyon.” Post-modernists and “millennials” that have only been exposed to “entertainers,” as opposed to artists, could learn a valuable musical lesson here. This is brilliance and beauty in music. And, it is offered by a gifted performer being at his best. Perhaps on Grammy® night the “twerkers” and hip-hoppers might get to the stage first. That is, of course, if the presenters don’t hand out the awards in reverse alpha order. “Getting Sentimental” is that deserving.