One of the top guitarists of his generation, Bobby Broom's preferred setting is a small group, while he excels in the demanding trio setting with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins (with Makaya McCraven replacing him on three songs). Upper West Side Story includes nine originals, none of which is likely to become a jazz standard, but all of which are stimulating. "D's Blues" has an engaging hard bop hook that pulls the listener in immediately, while "Upper West Side Story" suggests a walk in Manhattan on a breezy spring day, with an infectious Latin undercurrent.
This electrifying bossa nova version of ten great songs from the West Side Story admirably showcases Bill Barron's triple-threat talent as soloist, arranger, and leader. Bill's relaxed, long-lined solos on tenor saxophone confirm him as a member of that school of "hard-nosed" lyricism wich includes Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Bill Evans.
My favorite album in my collection! The total album is AWESOME… Jazz Giants. Composed by Howard Brubeck, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of West Side Story on Broadway, Dave Grusin revived the score, giving its ten themes fresh arrangements that keep the original melodies in mind but add a stronger dose of jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms to the music. For the most rewarding recording of this music since Stan Kenton's powerful renditions of the early 1960s, Grusin utilized an all-star big band with strings. Among the key soloists are trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, Bill Evans, Michael Brecker on tenor, baritonist Ronnie Cuber and flutist Dave Valentin (who is featured on a purposely cute rendition of "I Feel Pretty") plus the pianist/leader, who clearly loves the music. In addition, one song apiece features vocalists Jonathan Butler ("Maria"), Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada.