2020 Japanese reissue The New York Jazz Quartet, an excellent though overlooked band which was active in the 1970s and 1980s, is heard live at Jazzclub Domicile in Munich on this Inner City album. Pianist Roland Hanna, the founder of the group, is accompanied by tenor saxophonist Frank Wess, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Grady Tate, who had just replaced Richard Pratt. Aside from an extended workout of Miles Davis' "All Blues," which centers on Wess' soulful tenor sax, the remainder of this performance consists of originals each by Hanna or Mraz. The pianist's exciting "Rodney Round Robin," which he had debuted only two years earlier while recording a studio date under Red Rodney's leadership, contrasts strikingly with his dark, funky "Smelly Jelly Belly." The bassist's contributions are also laudable. The feverish "I'll Tell You Tonight" is like a roller coaster with plenty of hairpin turns, while his "Blues for Sarka" isn't actually a blues at all but a heartfelt ballad. Issued by both Inner City and Enja, this disc is easily one of the best releases by the New York Jazz Quartet. AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden
|Brand||Enja / Solid Records Japan|
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